Current Affairs

01 February 2020 Current Affairs for UPSC IAS Exam

Read Daily Current Affairs of 1st February 2020 for UPSC Civil Services (IAS) Prelims and Mains Exam 2020.

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Current Affairs Notes of 1st February 2020 for UPSC

Read Current Affairs Notes of 1st February 2020 for UPSC Civil Services Prelims and Mains Examination 2020. Highlighting all National and International contemporary issues important from the exam point of view.

GS-3, Prelims

Topic: Economic and Social Development-Sustainable Development, Poverty, Inclusion, Demographics, Social Sector Initiatives, etc.

Economic Survey 2019-20

  • The Economic Survey 2019-20 was released on 31 January 2020.
  • The cover is of Lavender colour reflecting the colour of the new 100 rupee note.
  • The theme of this economic survey is ethical wealth creation.
  • It suggests various ways which can help achieve the Indian government’s aspiration of making India a $ 5 trillion economy.
  • Some of the ways suggested include:
    • Privatization
    • Promoting entrepreneurship
    • Pro-business policies
    • Job creation for the large youth population in assembling operations
  • Here are some key points discussed:
    • It was tabled by Finance Minister Smt. Nirmala Sitharamanà attempts to create a framework of policies that can help increase wealth creation in Indiaà which will lead to upward growth of the economy.
    • Promotes ‘Pro-business’ policies (in favour of those who want to start new businesses) instead of ‘Pro-crony’ policies (in favour of already established big businesses).
    • Wealth creation can take place with the help of the invisible hand supported by the hand of trust. The terms mean as follows:
      • The invisible hand:-(of market) openness in economic transactions (ex: 1991 reforms of LPG)
      • Hand of trust:- ethical and philosophical dimensions
    • Entrepreneurship should be encouraged at the grassroots level:-will lead to wealth creation at the grassroots.
      • India ranks third in number of new firms created (World Bank).
      • Firm creation increased dramatically since 2014.
      • In 2018:-1.24 lakh new firms:-increase of 80% from 70,000 in 2014.
    • Government intervention in markets should be reduced.
      • Because it does more harm than good as in the cases of Essential Commodities Act (ECA) of 1955, price regulation by DPCO, government policies on food grain markets and debt waivers:-loss has been incurred by all these interventions.
    • Creating jobs and growth by specializing in Network products:
      • Concept of ‘assemble in India’:- assembling works should be taken up which will create a lot of jobs for India’s large youth population.
      • Export primarily to rich countries.
      • Trade policy must be an enabler.
    • Thalinomics:
      • A new term introduced:- it refers to the economy of price of thali.
      • Prices of thalis (both vegetarian and non-vegetarian) have reduced since 2015-16 across India, though they have increased during 2019-20.
      • This reduction in price has led to improved affordability of food.
    • Golden jubilee of bank nationalization:
      • Since 1969, The Indian Banking sector has not developed in proportion to the growth in size of the economy.
      • Only 1 Indian bank in global top 100.
      • Large economies need efficient banking sector to support growth.
    • Privatisation and wealth creation:
      • CPSEs when privatised, have been able to generate more wealth from the same resources.
      • The efficiency of these enterprises increased by disinvestment or involvement of the private sector.
  • There Survey includes several other chapters dealing with social infrastructure, Employment, Human Development, Sustainable Development, Agriculture, Climate Change, etc.

GS-3, Prelims

Topic: Major crops-cropping patterns in various parts of the country, – different types of irrigation and irrigation systems storage, transport and marketing of agricultural produce and issues and related constraints; e-technology in the aid of farmers.

Crop dusting with drones is illegal, says Centre

  • An environmental activist had written to the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmer’s Welfare, that chemical spraying using drones have increased lately and it has following problems associated with it:
    • Aerial spraying impacts a large area but decreases the efficacy on the target pests.
    • Also, chemicals drift away, beyond the range of application, with weather and wind conditions which can be hazardous.
    • Drones and unmanned machines can be hazardous tools for spraying hazardous chemicals.
    • There is no scientific validity that drones help in precision spraying.
    • People should be cautioned against using drones for aerial spraying of agrochemicals and the government should issue an advisory.
  • In response to the letter the government has said that drone-spraying is illegal as per the Insecticides Act of 1968.

GS-2, Prelims

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

High fees keep poor children away from higher education

  • The Economic Survey has noted that the high fees in the institutes of higher education push the poor and the underprivileged out of the education system.
  • A group of students in the JNU too is opposing the fee hike arguing that it will force many poor students to drop out.
  • National Sample Survey of 2017-18 shows increased participation in the education system in some indicators, but there are “challenges of affordability, quality, distribution of education infrastructure”.
  • The course fee in rural and urban areas is high, then adding up the costs of books, stationery and uniforms lead to children dropping out of or never enrolling into the education system.

GS-2, Prelims

Topic: Current events of national and international importance/ Issues relating to the development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources.

WHO declares virus outbreak a global emergency

  • World Health Organisation (WHO) has declared the Coronavirus, which originated from animals in Wuhan city, as a global health emergency.
  • The death toll in China from the virus reached 213 and it has even spread to various countries worldwide.
  • WHO has said that it had taken comprehensive and rigorous prevention and control steps and have full confidence and capability to fight the virus.
  • Several airlines have stopped flying to mainland China.
  • The organisation doesn’t recommend restrictions on travel or trade with China. Foreign governments have been flying home their citizens from the affected country.
  • There are fears of economic fallout from the outbreak of the virus in the world’s second-biggest economy.
  • The delayed actions from Wuhan’s side may have led to this huge impact. WHO stepped in because it was worried that the virus may spread to those countries which do not have the resources to deal with it.
  • WHO will now trigger tighter containment and information sharing guidelines to all countries.

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