Current Affairs December 2018

28. Nobel Peace Prize 2018
  • Denis Mukwege is a Congolese gynaecologist known for treating thousands of rape victims, and Nadia Murad, the Iraqi Yazidi, who was sold into sex slavery by Isis, have been jointly awarded the 2018 Nobel peace prize.
  • Both these personalities became famous to keeping their personal security at risk by courageously combatting war crimes and securing justice for victims.
  • The joint award comes a decade since the UN security council adopted Resolution 1820 (2008), which determined that the use of sexual violence as a weapon of war and armed conflict constitutes both a war crime and a threat to international peace and security.
  • Nadia Murad is the second youngest Nobel Prize laureate after Malala Yousafzai.
    About Nobel Prize:
  • Dynamite inventor Alfred Nobel died in 1896 leaving his wealth to give awards in 5 categories → Physics, Chemistry, Medicine, Literature, and Peace.
  • Later 6th Category added → Economics funded by Bank of Sweden exclusively
  • Started in 1901, Maximum 3 persons can be awarded in each category
  • A person must be alive to be nominated.
  • Nobel prize recipients are called laureates.
  • Actual medals are given on December 10, the anniversary of Alfred Nobel’s death.
  • Awards are in the form of medal, diploma, and 8-million Swedish kroner ~ $1.1 million.
  • Peace Prize is awarded in Oslo, Norway.
  • Other prizes are awarded in Stockholm, Sweden.
    29.Chinnaswami Subramania Bharati/ Bharathiyar
  • He was a Tamil writer, poet, journalist, Indian independence activist and a social reformer from Tamil Nadu.
  • He was popularly known as “Mahakavi Bharati”, a pioneer of modern Tamil poetry.
  • He is famous for imbibing patriotism during the Indian Independence movement through his works.
  • He also fought against the caste system in Hindu society.
  • He advocated and campaigned for women’s participation in politics and supported greater rights for women and their education.
  • According to him, the world will prosper in knowledge and intellect if both men and women are deemed equal.
    30. Tu-160
  • Two Russian nuclear-capable strategic bombers called Tu-160 bombers was recently landed by Russia in Venezuela.
  • About Tu 160:
  • They are also known as White Swans.
  • It is a supersonic, variable-sweep wing heavy strategic bomber.
  • It is capable of carrying conventional or nuclear-tipped cruise missiles with a range of 5,500km.
  • It has been named Blackjack by NATO and it is capable of flying at twice the speed of sound.
    31. Ex Aviaindra 2018
  • Ex AVIAINDRA, an air exercise between India and Russia has recently took place at Jodhpur from 10-21 Dec 2018.
  • It is the second in the series of bilateral joint exercise between these two countries.
    32. Agni V
  • Agni V has been recently successfully launched at the Dr Abdul Kalam Island off the coast of Odisha.
  • It is Indigenously developed long-range surface-to-surface long range ballistic missile of India.
    33. Agenda for Sustainable Development 2030
  • The Vice President of India has recently stated that India attaches utmost importance to the 2030 Agenda for sustainable Development.
    About Sustainable development goal:
  • In 2015 United Nations adopted resolution on “Transforming our world: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development“, which has 169 targets in 17 goals called Sustainable Development Goals. These goals are legally non-binding and have succeeded the eight MDGs, which were adopted in 2000 for fifteen years in Rio 20+ summit.
    India’s commitment for achieving sustainable development goals:
    1. End poverty in all its forms everywhere:
  • Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act to reduce extreme poverty as well as enhance the infrastructure and purchasing power in rural areas.
  • Important steps like Aadhaar Act, Insolvency and Bankruptcy Act, Goods and Services Tax (GST) have led to increased volume of revenues, which have permitted the government to sustain a high-level of social spending that directly targets poverty.
  • National food security act 2013.
  • Deen Dayal Antyodaya Yojana-National Livelihoods Mission provides skilled employment to marginalized communities.
    2. End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture
  • Programmes under the National Food Security Act cover more than 800 million people in the country.
  • Public Distribution System is one of the largest food security initiatives in the world.
  • National Mission on Sustainable Agriculture in collaboration with other stakeholders is implementing climate change adaptation strategies for sustaining agricultural productivity
  • Soil Health Cards scheme has been introduced for issuing crop-wise nutrient management advisories.
  • National agricultural policy for doubling farmers’ income by 2022.
  • Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana.
    3. Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages:
  • National Health Policy, 2017 for universalizing primary health care, reducing infant and under-5 mortality, preventing premature deaths due to non-communicable diseases as well as increasing Government expenditure on health.
  • Indradhanush programme for improving the level of vaccination.
  • Ayshman Bharat programme.
    4. Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all.
    5. Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls
  • Beti Bachao Beti Padao Yojna.
  • Increasing the paid leave for women workers under maternity benefit amendment act 2017 from 12 weeks to 26 weeks.
    6. Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all.
  • Under the National Rural Drinking Water Programme, more than 77% of the rural habitations have been fully covered with 40 litres of drinking water per capita on a daily basis. The objective of the Clean India Movement is to ensure an Open Defecation Free India by 2019.

  • 7. Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all.
    8. Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all.

  • Rapid growth of Indian economy is aimed at empowering households by giving them necessary purchasing power to access food, clothing, housing, education and health.
    9. Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation.
  • Various reforms like fiscal consolidation, inflation targeting, improved governance all around, accelerated infrastructure development is aimed at achieving this goal.
  • New Manufacturing Policy raises the output target from 16% of GDP to 25% by 2025.
  • Make in India programme.
  • Pradhan Mantri MUDRA Yojana.
    10. Reduce inequality within and among countries
    11. Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable.
    12. Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns.
    13. Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts
    14. Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development.
  • National Fisheries Action Plan.
  • Coastal Ocean Monitoring and Prediction System for tracking the levels of marine pollution along the coastline.
  • Sagarmala programme is focused on improving port connectivity, port-linked industrialization and coastal community development.
    15. Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss
    16. Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels
    17. Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development.
    34. Shyama Prasad Mukherji Rurban Mission
  • Under Shyama Prasad Mukherji Rurban Mission (SPMRM) 295 clusters have been identified and approved across 29 States and 6 Union Territories out of mandated 300 clusters. About Shyama Prasad Mukherji Rurban Mission:
  • It was launched on February 21st, 2016 to deliver catalytic interventions to rural areas on the threshold of growth.
  • It has replaced the PURA (provisional of urban amenities in rural areas).
  • It aims at development of rural growth clusters which have latent potential for growth, in all States and UTs, which would trigger overall development in the region.
    Question: 1. What is electoral bond scheme? Critically analyse the advantages and disadvantages of the scheme.
    2. Highlighting the proposed amendment in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement act 2013 critically analyse the issues associated with it.
    3. Critically analyse arguments in favour and against the citizenship amendment bill 2016. What are the causes for protest against this bill particularly in India’s north east?
    4. Do you think that the Indian constitution has provided enough safeguards for ensuring the independence of judiciary? Indian judiciary has moved from the era of judicial pacifism to judicial activism and now it is moving towards judicial overreach. Discuss.
    5. Do you think that India is moving towards Universal Health coverage system? What are the challenges in achieving this? Highlight the recommendation of committees formed in this context.
    6. Critically analyse various issues related to farm distress in India. Although many steps have been taken for improving farmer’s distress, however they are not free from loopholes. Discuss.
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