Daily current affairs/3rd January 2019

Focus: Prelims + Mains


Two young women entered the Sabarimala Ayyappa temple

  • This is the first time that women in the 10-50 age group have managed to enter the temple following the Supreme Court verdict.
  • Anti-government protest across the State.
  • The chief priest performed rites of ‘purification’. Chief priest’s action violates the Supreme Court verdict. Any form of exclusion based on concepts of ‘impurity and pollution’ amounts to untouchability.


Bill introduced in Parliament for Voluntary seeding of Aadhaar ID

  • It will allow seeding of Aadhaar with mobile numbers and bank account after Supreme court barred mandatory use of Aadhaar by private firms.
  • Proposed amendment bill is in compliance with the Supreme Court’s judgement on the right to privacy (Article 21).


Specific names for Arunachal ST 

  • The Union Cabinet approved a proposal to replace the generic term ‘any Naga tribes’ with the specific names of Tutsa, Wancho, Nocte and Tangsa, etc.
  • The proposed amendment will be introduced in parliament to give ST recognition of these tribes in Arunachal Pradesh.

Clause 6 of Assam Accord

Union Cabinet approved a new panel to protect Assamese and other indigenous languages and the quantum of reservation in employment under Assam Accord.

International Relations 

  • China building ‘advanced’ warships for Pak.
  • Taiwan’s unification with China is inevitable- President Xi Jinping
    • One China policy


Cabinet approved the merger of Banks-BoB, Dena Bank and Vijaya Bank

  • The merged entity will be India’s 3rd largest bank after SBI, ICICI and known as Bank of Baroda.
  • Pros- Create strong globally competitive banks, Economies of scale by better resource mobilization, efficiency, reduce the staff and infrastructure cost.
  • Cons- Too big to fail- Lehman bank crisis in the USA.

Exotic trees eating up Western Ghat’s grasslands

  • Exotic trees (pine, acacia and eucalyptus) plantation ceased in 1996. But, they are still invading the grassland of Western Ghats.
  • Shola forest (patches of stunted evergreen shola trees in the valleys and grasslands on hill slopes) are relatively unchanged.

Olive ridleys perishing off on Andhra Coast

  • Turtles get trapped in the fishing net.
  • The absence of turtle Excluder device in fishing nets- It allows turtles to escape the fishing net.
  • IUCN status- Vulnerable
  • Map work- The Krishna and the Koringa wildlife sanctuaries in Andhra Pradesh.

Occupational hazard: Poor safety standards in the Indian mining industry

  • 377 deaths in the last 3 years due to mining accidents.
  • screenshot 2019-01-07 09.25.03

Source: The Hindu

U.K. Sinha Committee appointed by RBI for MSME Sector 

  • An 8 member expert committee headed by former SEBI chairman U.K. Sinha to review and propose long-term solutions for the revival of the micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME) sector.
  • The MSME sector has been facing stress due to the demonetisation exercise and implementation of GST.


Climate Change Performance Index (CCPI)

  • Published by- Germanwatch, NewClimate Institute and Climate Action Network Europe.
  • Evaluates the climate protection performance of 60 countries, responsible for over 90% of global energy-related CO2 emissions.
  • Morocco has been ranked 2nd after Sweden due to an increasing share of renewable energy in the grid.



Film searching for beauty in Trash

An IRS officer made a satirical documentary “Finding beauty in Garbage” of Dibrugarh, Assam won a gold medal in an international short film festival.


GS 2- Security —Deterrence or danger?

A nuclear triad- It consists of land-based, air-based and sea-based nuclear weapons delivery systems. India has completed Nuclear triad with the launch of INS Arihant.

Second Strike Capability- It allows a country to absorb the nuclear strike, and retaliate with a massive nuclear attack on the enemy country. Naval leg of nuclear weapons delivery system gives more second strike capability than real deterrence.

No first use policy- China and India has no first use policy. But, Pakistan has no such policy and developing tactical weapons for use on the battlefield.

The author argues that

  • India’s nuclear triad will give rise to the nuclear arms race between India and Pakistan. Acquiring SSBNs or a nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarine will not make our deterrent more credible.
  • There is ample time to disperse land-based and air-based nuclear assets because the threshold level would reach only after a conventional war.
  • Even a small incident between two nuclear weapons states bring the attention of UN and other countries to resolve the dispute through mediation.
  • So, there is no such need for the Naval leg of nuclear weapons for India.


Powering South Asian Integration – GS 2

  • The new electricity guidelines by Union Ministry of Power is a first step towards creating a true regional market for the flow of electricity across the South Asian borders.
  • Increase the share of renewable energy by utilizing the vast amount of hydroelectricity generated from Nepal and Bhutan.
  • Increase the grid stability,
  • Lesser restrictions for private companies to trade in Indian electricity markets.
  • Tripartite trading arrangements will allow Bangladesh to access renewable electricity.

Lessons from Kerala: Transforming Primary Care

TOPIC: General studies 2- HEALTH ISSUE

Primary health care is in the state of crisis. With the increasing burden of non-communicable diseases as well as communicable diseases. Also, it is an underdeveloped, underfunded and facing a severe shortage of workforce.

  • Alma-Ata Declaration, 1978– This outlines primary healthcare as a key area to deliver better health for all.
  • Astana Declaration, 2018- It would “aim to meet all people’s health needs across the life course through comprehensive preventive, promotive, curative, rehabilitative services and palliative care.

The Astana Declaration includes following services as part of PHC services –

  1. Vaccination;
  2. Screenings;
  3. Prevention, control and management of non-communicable and communicable diseases;
  4. Care and services that promote, maintain and improve maternal, newborn, child and adolescent health; and
  5. Mental health and sexual and reproductive health.

Hence, world leaders declared their commitment to ‘Primary Care’ in Astana Declaration to achieve the Sustainable Development Goal 3 to reach universal health coverage.

Learning from Kerala’s Aardram Mission

Aim to transform health care, address the current and future epidemiological situation by re-designing the primary health care.

Kerala tried to reduce the target Indian norm of one primary care for 30,000 population to 10,000.

But, the revamped primary care suggests that it would require at least one team for 5,000 populations. So, there is a shortage of trained professional.

Steps were taken by Kerala government

Kerala has tried to get over the manpower crunch through short courses in specific areas such as management of diabetes mellitus, hypertension, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and depression.


  • Primary Health Care is a cost-effective, efficient and equitable approach to achieve universal health coverage (UHC).
  • Service providers need to assume responsibility and deliver quality care to build trust in the population.
  • The private sector can provide quality primary care and reduce the gap but there is a need to build to provide budgetary support for the insurance model.
    Achieving UN SDGs of Universal Health Coverage and fulfil the commitment of Astana declaration require learning from Kerala in transforming primary healthcare.