Current Affairs: The Hindu + PIB with Quiz 19th April 2019

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The Hindu and PIB Current Affairs 19th April 2019: UPSC IAS

Get daily current affairs from The Hindu newspaper and PIB, All Important news will be covered in Current Affairs post with Questions and answers, current affairs quiz which will help you to prepare for UPSC IAS Exam.

Current Affairs: The Hindu

CSIR plans genome sequencing to map population diversity

Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) has planned to roll out a major mission to sequence the genes of a 1,000 rural youth across India aims at educating a generation of students on the significance of genomics.

Key Facts of the Project:

  • The project is an adjunct to a much larger government-led programme, still in the works, to sequence at least 10,000 Indian genomes.
  • The project aims at educating a generation of students on the “usefulness” of genomics and has been taken for the first time on a large scale in India.
  •  Globally, many countries have undertaken genome sequencing of a sample of their citizens to determine unique genetic traits, susceptibility (and resilience) to disease.
  •  Those recruited as part of genome-sample collections are representative of the country’s population diversity and bulk of them will be college students, both men and women, and pursuing degrees in the life sciences or biology.

About Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology:

  •  CSIR-Institute of Genomics & Integrative Biology (IGIB) is a premier Institute of Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), engaged in research of national importance in the areas of genomics, molecular medicine, bioinformatics and proteomics.
  •  It’s mission: “To translate concepts developed in basic biological research to commercially viable technologies for health care”

Methodology:

  • Genomes will be sequenced based on a blood sample and the scientists plan to hold at least 30 camps covering most States.
  • Every person whose genomes are sequenced will be given a report. The participants would be told if they carry gene variants that make them less responsive to certain classes of medicines. For instance, having a certain gene makes some people less responsive to clopidogrel, a key drug that prevents strokes and heart attack.
  • The project would involve the Hyderabad-based Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB) and cost ₹18 crore, with the sequencing to be done at the IGIB and the CCMB.

Source: The Hindu

Officials allow some persons to cast ‘tendered’ votes in T.N.

The presiding officer has allowed a first-time voter in Tamil Nadu to cast a tendered vote when their votes had already been cast but they were not left disappointed and had a chance to cast a ‘tendered’ vote.

About Tendered Votes:

  • Tendered Vote/Ballot comes into play in exceptional circumstances whenever a registered voter comes to know that his rightful vote has been utilized by some other person before him.
  • Section 49P of The Conduct of Elections Rules, 1961 deals with the concept of Tendered Vote/Ballot
  • A tendered ballot paper is the same as the ballot paper displayed on the balloting unit, except that it will be endorsed (either stamped or written) with the words ‘Tendered Ballot Paper’ on the back.
  • It may happen that a person representing himself to be a particular elector (voter) comes forward to vote after some other person has already voted as such elector.
  • In that case, if the Presiding Officer is satisfied with the identity of such person to be the real voter after necessary questioning, he will permit such voter to vote by means of a tendered ballot paper, but not by means of the voting machine.

Source: The Hindu

Plea in SC on voting rights of undertrials and convicts

A petition has been filed in Supreme Court which has questioned the electoral laws which deniesundertrials and convicts their right to vote.

Voting Rights of Undertrials and Convicts:

  • A petition has been filed in the Supreme Court challenging the law which bars undertrials and convicts from voting.
  • Section 62(5) of the Representation of the People Act,1951 says that no person shall vote at any election if he is confined in a prison, whether under a sentence of imprisonment or transportation or otherwise, or is in the lawful custody of the police.
  • This provision exempts a person held under preventive detention and a person out on bail.
  • The SC has observed that a person is in prison because of his or her conduct, and cannot claim equal rights as others who are not incarcerated.
  • The petitioner points out that the section uses ‘confined’ as the yardstick which has created several anomalies. The petition highlights how this section sees both an undertrial and a convicted person equally.
  • The undertrial guilt is yet to be proved in a court. A person is innocent until proven guilty by law. Despite this, it denies an undertrial the right to vote but allows a detainee the same. However, a person out on bail is allowed to cast his vote.
  • The petitioner has argued that the provision violates (a)Article 326 of the Constitution which says that the right to vote is a Constitutional right (b)Right to equality guaranteed under Article 14 of the Constitution as it was discriminatory.

Voting Rights under Indian Constitution:

  •  Article 326 of the Indian Constitution provides that every person who is a citizen of India and who is not less than 18 years of age shall be entitled to be registered as a voter at any such election.
  • The article further provides that if any citizen is otherwise disqualified under this Constitution or any law made by the appropriate Legislature on the ground of non-residence, unsoundness of mind, crime or corrupt or illegal practice, SHALL NOT be entitled to be registered as a voter at any such election.

Sources: The Hindu

Opinion: A struggle to breathe

Every year the National Capital Region’s pollution levels make it to the headlines for stubble burning.

Background

  • Stubble burning became a rampant practice during the Green revolution period when mass production of paddy was enabled in the plains of Punjab and Haryana.
  • Central government constituted the EPCA way back in 1998 in compliance to a Supreme Court order for protecting and improving the quality of the environment and preventing, controlling and abating environmental pollution.
  • As per the recent World Health Organization (WHO) 2018 pollution report, the Indian capital is among the world’s most polluted cities.

About Stubble Burning:

  • Stubble burning refers to the use of a controlled fire to clear the crop residue that remains in the paddock after harvest and could more accurately be called ‘crop residue burning’.
  • Stubble burning results in emission of harmful gases such as carbon dioxide, sulfur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide along with particulate matter.
  • However, according to the author, reducing pollution is not on the agenda of any political party. In this aspect, what needs to be understood from this article is that the author has given several measures that can be undertaken to reduce pollution.
  • The economic loss for India in the last five years due to the exposure to crop burning is about 1.7% of the country’s GDP. Annually, this exposure to pollution costs Delhi, Haryana, and Punjab around ₹2 lakh crore.

Alternative solutions that can avoid Stubble Burning:

There is a need to find alternatives to stubble burning and impose strict sanctions in case of contravention of any ban on the practice; impose a blanket ban on firecrackers; impose a blanket ban on all vehicles exceeding prescribed tailgate emission standards; legislate stricter norms for fuels; open toll roads where trucks should be excluded and high-occupancy vehicles exempted from the toll; provide separate bus lanes to reduce congestion; create a separate fund in the Budget to specifically deal with this crisis; provide agricultural subsidies to farmers to disincentivises crop burning; improve the drainage system; and incentivise the use of renewable energy.

Source: The Hindu

Current Affairs: PIB

CBDT invites stakeholder comments on report pertaining to Profit Attribution to Permanent Establishment(PE) in India

The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) has invited stakeholders’ comments on a draft committee report on attribution of profits in case of a permanent establishment (PE).

Key Facts:

  • Public  will have to be furnished electronically within 30 days from the date of its publication on the department’s website  www.incometaxindia.gov.in
  • The draft report by the CBDT committee on profit attribution to PE deems 2 percent of revenue derived from India as profit attributable to Indian operations inspite of having losses on a global level.
  • This will impact several PE especially of infrastructure projects which have been into chroniclosses lately.
  • The subjectivity of Rule 10 and the resultant litigation will go away once the recommendations find way into the Act/Rules.
  • On the profit attribution method, the report postulates that the profits derived from India need to be defined objectively, and that the same could be arrived at by multiplying the revenue derived from India with the global operational profit margin. A deeming global operational profit of 2 percent has also been acknowledged by the Committee.
  • For business models in which users contribute significantly to the profits of the enterprise, user base could be taken into account for the purpose of profit attribution as the fourth factor for apportionment, in addition to sales, manpower and assets.
  • Weightage in the range of 10-20 percent have been assigned to the user base.
  • The Committee has recommended that profits derived from Indian operations should be higher of – (a) amount arrived at by multiplying the revenue derived from India multiplied with global operational profit margin, and (b) Two percent of the revenue derived from India.

Sources: PIB

Suspension of LoC Trade between J&K and PoJK

The Ministry of Home Affairs has issued orders to suspend the LoC trade in Jammu & Kashmir w.e.f 19-04-2019.

Key Facts:

  • This action has been taken as the Government of India has been receiving reports that the Cross LoC trade routes are being misused by the Pakistan based elements for funnelling illegal weapons, narcotics and fake currency etc.
  •  LoC trade is meant to facilitate exchange of goods of common use between local populations across the LoC in Jammu & Kashmir.
  • The trade is allowed through two Trade Facilitation Centres located at Salamabad, Uri, District Baramulla and Chakkan-da-Bagh, District Poonch.
  •  The Trade is based on Barter system and zero duty basis.
  • A significant number of trading concerns engaged in LoC trade are being operated by persons closely associated with banned terrorist organizations involved in fuelling terrorism/separatism.
  • These trading firms are under the control of militant organizations and are engaged in LoC trade.

Source:PIB

150 Indian peacekeepers serving with UN’s South Sudan Mission get medals of honour

A total of 150 Indian peacekeepers serving with the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) have received medals of honour for their dedicated service and sacrifice.

Key Facts:

  • The medals were given to the 150 Indian peacekeepers serving in UNMISS in Malakal during a ceremony filled with parades and performances by a piped band.
  • The United Nations Mission in South Sudan is the newest United Nations peacekeeping missionfor the recently independent South Sudan, which became independent on 9 July 2011.
  • UNMISS was established on 8 July 2011 by United Nations Security Council Resolution 1996.
  • The Security Council determined that the situation faced by South Sudan continued to constitute a threat to international peace and security in the region and established the United Nations Mission in the Republic of South Sudan (UNMISS) to consolidate peace and security and to help establish conditions for development.

Current Affairs Quiz

Q.Consider the following statements with regards to Genome sequencing

I. It means determining the order of the four chemical building blocks – called “bases” – that make up the DNA molecule.

II. It helps to determine unique genetic traits, susceptibility, and resilience to diseases.

III. IIT Madras has planned to roll out a mission to sequence the genes of a 1,000 rural youth across India.

IV. The project aims at educating a generation of students on the significance of genomics.

Which of the following statement’s is/are true?

A. I and II

B. I, II and III

C. I, II and IV

D. All of these

Q.Consider the following statements with regards to ‘Tendered Vote’

I. Tendered Votes have been defined under Conduct of Election Rules, 1961, Section 49P.

II. Tendered votes will come to rescue of those whose vote has been cast by someone else.

III. The person to cast tendered vote would be provided electronic voting machines(EVM)

Which of the following statement’s is/are true?

A. I and II

B. II and III

C. I and III

D. All of these

Q.Consider the following statements with regards to Disqualifications for registration in an electoral roll. If he/she-

I.  is not a citizen of India.

II. is of unsound mind and stands so declared by a competent court.

III. is for the time being disqualified from voting under the provisions of any law relating to corruptpractices and other offenses in connection with elections.

Which of the following statement’s is/are true?

A. I and II

B. II and III

C. I and III

D. All of these

Q.Consider the following statements with regards to Stubble Burning

I. It is a post-harvest practice used to clear fields of paddy crop residue by burning them.

II. This practice mostly carried out in Punjab, Haryana, and UP contributes solely to the grave winter pollution in the national capital.

III. It releases toxic pollutants like Methane, Carbon Monoxide (CO), Volatile organic compound (VOC) in air.

IV. EPCA has rolled out the Graded Response Action Plan which includes efforts like banning construction activities, diesel generators, etc.

Which of the following statement’s is/are true?

A. I and II

B. I, II and III

C. I, II and IV

D. All of these

Q.Consider the following statements with regards to Central Board of Direct Taxes

I. It is a Non-statutory authority functioning under the Central Board of Revenue Act, 1963.

II. It is India’s official Financial Action Task Force unit.

III. It functions as a Division of the Ministry of Finance dealing with matters relating to levy and collection of direct taxes.

IV. Recently, It has invited stakeholders’ comments on a draft committee report on attribution of profits in case of a permanent establishment (PE).

Which of the following statement’s is/are true?

A. II,III and IV

B. I, II and III

C. I, II and IV

D. All of these

Q.Consider the following statements with regards to ‘Trade across LoC’

I. LoC trade is meant to facilitate exchange of goods of common use between local populations across the LoC in Jammu & Kashmir.

II. It is allowed through two Trade Facilitation Centres located at Salamabad, Uri, District Baramulla and Chakkan-da-Bagh, District Poonch.

III. The trade takes place four days a week.

IV. The Trade is based on Cheque and online basis

Which of the following statement’s is/are true?

A. II,III and IV

B. I, II and III

C. I, II and IV

D. All of these

Q.Which of the following is/are the objectives of  UNMISS Mandate

A.Support for peace consolidation and thereby fostering longer-term state building and economic development.

B. Support the Government of the Republic of South Sudan in exercising its responsibilities for conflict prevention, mitigation and resolution and protect civilians.

C. Support the Government of the Republic of South Sudan in developing its capacity to provide security, to establish rule of law, and to strengthen the security and justice sectors.

D. All of the above

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