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SW Monsoon

Paper: General Studies 1

Topic: Important Geophysical phenomena such as earthquakes, Tsunami, Volcanic activity, cyclone etc.,

Why in the news?

  • While there has been a delay in the arrival and progress of the SW monsoon, there is also a rainfall deficit of 38% so far.
  • This has led to depletion of reservoirs and a delay in sowing of summer crops.

What is the South West monsoon?

  • India receives rainfall mainly in the months of June – September during the monsoon’ season.
  • The rainfall is brought by moisture laden winds from the south-westerly direction from over the Indian ocean.
  • This rainfall forms the mainstay for agriculture in India as nearly 60% of the agriculture is still rainfed. The monsoon season is marked by the start of the kharif season and rice is the most important crop sown during the season.
  • Unpredictability and erraticness of the monsoon thus affect the livelihoods of millions of people across the country. This uncertainty arises due to several interlinked factors that work in tandem to influence in the monsoon rains such as El nino southern oscillation (ENSO), Indian Ocean dipole (IOD), low level jet streams and heating of Tibet among others.
  • Thus, it is imperative that proper rainfall harvesting and water management techniques be adopted so as to ensure water security in the face of unpredictability of the monsoons.

 

Chikungunya

Paper: General Studies 2

Topic:  Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources.

Why in the news?

The Institute of Life Sciences has entered into a non-exclusive license for product commercialisation after having developed antibodies against the Chikungunya viral (CHIKV) infection.

What is Chikungunya?

  • Chikungunya is a viral disease (genus Alphavirus) which is transmitted to humans by infected mosquitoes – including Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus. The name chikungunya originates from a verb in the Kimakonde language, meaning ‘to become contorted’. This refers to the ‘stooped’ appearance of those suffering with joint pain.
  • Chikungunya was first identified in Tanzania in the early 1952 and has caused periodic outbreaks in Asia and Africa since the 1960s.

What are the symptoms?

Symptoms appear between 4 and 7 days after the patient has been bitten by the infected mosquito and these include:

  • High fever (40°C/ 104°F)
  • Joint pain (lower back, ankle, knees, wrists or phalanges)
  • Joint swelling
  • Rash
  • Headache
  • Muscle pain
  • Nausea
  • Fatigue

Chikungunya is rarely fatal. Symptoms are generally self-limiting and last for 2–3 days. The virus remains in the human system for 5-7 days and mosquitoes feeding on an infected person during this period can also become infected. Chikungunya shares some clinical signs with dengue and can be misdiagnosed in areas where dengue is common.

 

Removal of High Court judge

Paper: General Studies 2

Topic: Structure, organization and functioning of the Executive and the Judiciary

Why in the news?

  • The Chief Justice of India has written to the Prime Minister to initiate a motion for removal of a judge of the Allahabad High Court, Justice S.N. Shukla.
  • He was found guilty of misconduct by an in-house panel of the High court system.

How is a judge of the High Court removed?

  • A judge of the High Court can be removed from his office by an order of the President.
  • The President can issue the removal order only after an address by the Parliament has been presented to him in the same session for such removal.
  • The address must be supported by a special majority of each House of Parliament (i.e. a majority of the total membership of that House and majority of not less than two thirds of the members of that House present and voting)
  • The grounds of removal are two – proved misbehaviour and incapacity.
  • The Judges Enquiry Act, 1968 regulates the procedure relating to the removal of a judge of the High Court.
  • The removal motion must be signed by 100 members in case of the Lok Sabha or 50 members in case of the Rajya Sabha and given to the Speaker/Chairman
  • The Speaker/Chairman may admit the motion or refuse to admit it.
  • If it is admitted, then the Speaker/Chairman is to constitute a three-member committee to investigate the charges. The committee should consist of – the CJI or a justice of the Supreme Court, CJ of a high court and a distinguished jurist.
  • If the committee finds the judge to be guilty of misbehaviour or suffering from an incapacity, the House can take up the consideration of the motion.
  • After the motion is passed by each house of the Parliament by special majority, it is presented to the President who passes an order removing the judge.

 

Till date, no judge of the High Court has been impeached.

 

MUDRA

Paper: General Studies 3

Topic: Indian Economy and issues relating to planning, mobilization of resources, growth, development and employment.

 

Why in the news?

Gross NPAs in MUDRA loans rise to 5.28% of the total disbursements in financial year 2018-19 (FY 19) from 3.96% in the preceding fiscal.

What is MUDRA?

  • The Union Budget for FY 2015-16, announced the formation of MUDRA Bank. Accordingly MUDRA (Micro Units Development & Refinance Agency Ltd) was registered as a Company in March 2015 under the Companies Act 2013 and as a Non Banking Finance Institution with the RBI on 07 April 2015.
  • MUDRA has been initially formed as a wholly owned subsidiary of Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI) with 100% capital being contributed by it. Presently, the authorized capital of MUDRA is 1000 crores and paid up capital is 750 crore, fully subscribed by SIDBI. More capital is expected to enhance the functioning of MUDRA.
  • MUDRA partners with Banks, MFIs and other lending institutions at state level / regional level to provide micro finance support to the micro enterprise sector in the country.

What is the PM MUDRA Yojana?

  • Pradhan Mantri MUDRA Yojana (PMMY) is a scheme launched by the Hon’ble Prime Minister on April 8, 2015 for providing loans upto 10 lakh to the non-corporate, non-farm small/micro enterprises.
  • These loans are classified as MUDRA loans under PMMY. These loans are given by Commercial Banks, RRBs, Small Finance Banks, Cooperative Banks, MFIs and NBFCs. The borrower can approach any of the lending institutions mentioned above or can apply online through this portal.
  • Under the aegis of PMMY, MUDRA has created three products namely ‘Shishu’, ‘Kishore’ and ‘Tarun’ to signify the stage of growth / development and funding needs of the beneficiary micro unit / entrepreneur and also provide a reference point for the next phase of graduation / growth.

 

Air Traffic Flow Management – Central Command Centre

Paper: General Studies 3

Topic: Infrastructure: Energy, Ports, Roads, Airports, Railways etc.

Why in the news?

Shri Hardeep Singh Puri, Minister of State (I/c) for Civil Aviation inaugurated the Air Traffic Flow Management – Central Command Centre (C-ATFM) at Vasant Kunj, New Delhi.

What is the C-ATFM?

  • The C-ATFM system is primarily meant to address the balancing of capacity against the demand to achieve optimum utilization of the major resources viz., airport, airspace and aircraft at every Indian airport where there is a capacity constraint.
  • The C-ATFM system integrates flight data from various subsystems like ATC Automation System, flight updates and flight update messages. The system also displays weather information along with static information about airports, airspaces and air routes.  The system processes the demand and capacity information and provides decision-making tools to the ATFM Flow Manager for collaborative decision making and to ensure regulated flow of traffic at each airport in India.
  • The C-ATFM system is supported by 36 Flow Management Positions (FMP) at various airports including Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata, Bengaluru and Hyderabad among others. Eight defense airports are also part of the ATFM network which are provided with FMPs.
  • After successfully implementing the Air Traffic Flow Management System, India has become the seventh country after the US, Europe, Australia, South Africa, Japan, Brazil.

 

Inner Line Permit

Paper: General Studies 3

Topic: Security challenges and their management in border areas

Why in the news?

A petition filed before the Supreme Court has sought a direction to the Centre and the Nagaland government to take appropriate steps for the protection of life and liberty, properties and other fundamental rights of non- Nagas living in the commercial hub of Dimapur following the imposition of the Inner Line Permit (ILP)

What is the Inner Line Permit?

The Inner Line Permit (ILP) is an official travel document issued by the Government of India to grant inward travel of an Indian citizen into a protected area for a limited period. It is obligatory for Indians residing outside those states to obtain permission prior to entering the protected areas.

  • Currently, the Inner Line Permit is operational in Arunachal Pradesh, Mizoram and Nagaland.
  • The document has been issued under the Bengal Eastern Frontier Regulation, 1873 and the conditions and restrictions vary from state to state.
  • It can be issued for travel purposes solely.
  • Visitors are not allowed to purchase property in these regions. However, there might be a different set of rules for long term visitors, though they are not valid for central government employees and security forces.

The system was introduced by the British to protect their commercial interests, particularly in oil and tea, and continues now essentially as a mechanism to firewall the tribal peoples and their cultures from onslaughts by outsiders.

 

Prelims Specific

  • Ambubachi Mela was inaugurated at the Kamakhya Temple in Guwahati, Assam. This yearly mela is celebrated during the monsoon season that happens to fall during the Assamese month Ahaar, around the middle of June when sun transit to the zodiac of Mithuna, when the Brahmaputra river is in spate. It is believed that the presiding goddess of the temple, Devi Kamakhya, the Mother Shakti, goes through her annual cycle of menstruation during this time stretch.
  • Scientists have decoded the genome of Arogyapacha which is endemic to the Agastya hills in the Western Ghats and is known for its medicinal properties. It is used as a traditional medicine by the Kani tribe to combat fatigue.