Expected Most Important Topics for UPSC - 2018 (Part - 3) (Download PDF)


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National Anthem in Cinema Halls - The Supreme Court has modified its earlier order regarding mandatory playing of national anthem in cinema halls. In its earlier order, the court ordered all cinema halls to play the anthem before screening a film.

  • The Supreme Court has modified this and has now made it optional for cinema halls to play the national anthem before every show.

  • Accordingly, if the anthem is played, patrons in the hall are bound to show respect by standing up.

  • The court clarified that the exception granted to disabled persons from standing up during the anthem shall remain in force on all occasions.

Nyaya Grams

  • It is a township with a judicial academy and auditorium in the Allahabad High Court.

  • The U. P state government has provided the funding for this judicial infrastructure.

  • U. P public works department is the nominated construction agency.

  • It will help judges to assemble and deliberate on the contemporary legislation and developments in the field of law.

Road Map for Municipal Reform

  • The Union ministry of housing and urban affairs has prepared a comprehensive road map for municipal reforms.

  • Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT) is carried on with some basic reforms in 500 cities from 2015 to 2017.

  • The plan consists of three tiers of reforms.

  • Tier 1 - The purpose of Tier 1 is to accelerate ongoing key financial and service delivery reforms.

  • Tier 2 - The Tier 2 consists of five transformative reforms.

  • Tier 3 - The focus of tier 3 is rapid and even more transformational reforms along three main avenues.

Cauvery River Water Dispute

  • The Supreme Court has pronounced its verdict on the sharing of Cauvery water among Tamil Nadu, Puducherry, Karnataka and Kerala.

  • Historically, Tamil Nadu used about 602 TMC of the total yield of the river i. e. the available water in a particular year.

  • As a result, only about 138 TMC was available for Karnataka until the turn of the 20th century.

  • Accordingly, Tamil Nadu was allowed to expand its agricultural area by 11 lakh acres from the existing 16 lakh acres.

  • Karnataka was authorised to increase its irrigation area from 3 lakh acres to 10 lakh acres.

  • The Cauvery River thus primarily served the needs of farmers in Tamil Nadu.

  • On completing 50 years, the accord lapsed in 1974.

Electoral Bonds

  • The union government announced the launch of electoral bonds in FY2017 Budget.

  • These bonds are expected to curb money - laundering through political funding, but there are transparency issues.

  • Electoral bonds will be issued by a notified bank for specified denominations, which is interest free.

  • Those who want to donate to a political party can buy these bonds by making payments digitally or through cheque.

  • Then they are free to gift the bond to any registered political party.

  • The bonds will likely be bearer bonds and the identity of the donor will not be known to the receiver.

Malimath Report

  • Justice Malimath Committee or The Committee on Reforms of the Criminal Justice System was constituted by the Home Ministry in 2000.

  • It was the first time that the State constituted such a Committee for a thorough and comprehensive review of the entire Criminal Justice System in the country.

  • Committee had submitted its report in 2003 and made recommendations on criminal system in the country.

  • The recommendations were never implemented.

  • It is now going to be revisited by the government.

  • One of its key recommendations is admissibility of confessions made before a police officer as evidence in a court of law.

Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Bill

  • The Centre has decided to re - introduce the original Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Bill, 2016, without the adopting recommendations of the Parliamentary Standing Committee.

  • In February 2014, the Supreme Court passed a landmark judgement in the NALSA vs. Union of India case.

  • The apex court deemed that individuals had the right to the self - identification of their sexual orientation.

  • Private Member Bill - Rights of Transgender Persons Bill, 2014, was introduced as a Private Member’s Bill in the Rajya Sabha by Tiruchi Siva.

Draft Space Activities Bill, 2017

  • The Department of Space has released a draft Space Activities Bill, 2017.

  • It aims at encouraging both the public and private sectors to participate in the space programme.

  • The Bill specifically facilitates for the participation of non - governmental/private sector agencies in space activities in India.

  • The provisions of the legislation shall apply to every citizen of India.

  • And also to all sectors engaged in any space activity in India or outside India.

  • Regulatory mechanism - The central government is responsible for setting mechanisms and promoting space activity.

  • This includes exploration and use of outer space, and development of the sector.

Redrafted Bill on Passive Euthanasia

  • The redrafted bill on euthanasia is released as the ‘Management of Patients with Terminal Illness - Withdrawal of Medical Life Support Bill’.

  • Passive Euthanasia is the withdrawal of medical treatment and life support of a terminally - ill patient to facilitate (natural) death.

  • Accordingly, withdrawal of life - sustaining treatment from patients not in a position to make an informed decision (incompetent case) is permitted.

  • It even recommended a proper medical board examination of all cases of euthanasia.

Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill, 2017

  • Lok Sabha has passed the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill, 2017.

  • The Bill defines talaq as talaq - e - biddat (instant triple talaq) or any other similar form of talaq pronounced by a Muslim man resulting in instant and irrevocable divorce.

  • The Bill makes declaration of talaq a cognizable and non - bailable offence.

  • A husband declaring talaq can be imprisoned for up to 3 years along with a fine.

  • This applies to the woman and her dependent children.

Ceasefire Violations in LoC

  • 2017 has marked highest number of Cease fire violations between India and Pak in LoC.

  • The ceasefire between India and Pakistan has been in place since 2003, but there are increasing breaches in the agreements from both the side.

  • The 2003 cease fire agreement between India and Pakistan came just four years after the Kargil war, and soon after both the countries almost went to war following the December 13,2001 terrorist attack on the Indian Parliament.

  • Pakistan Prime Minister announced a unilateral ceasefire on the Line of Control.

  • India accepted Pakistan’s offer and suggested including the Siachen heights.

Multiplicity of Challenges in Myanmar

  • Besides the infamous Rohingya crisis, Myanmar also saw multiple challenges on the fronts like press freedom and the “Panglong peace process” in 2017.

  • The issues of threats to press freedom, Rohingya refugee crisis and peace process with the country’s armed ethnic groups got international attention.

  • Press Freedom

  • Rohingya Crisis

  • “Panglong Peace Conference”

Myanmar Dam near Manipur

  • Myanmar is building a new dam, close to the border near Manipur.

  • This has raised some concerns among the border villages in Manipur.

  • The dam, called Tuidimjang, is being built on the Twigem River.

  • Twigem River flows into Myanmar from Manipur.

  • International rules warrant border countries to check activities in No Man’s Land.

  • This applies to a 150 - metre strip on either side of the boundary line.

India and Nepal

  • A stable government has emerged in Nepal after decades of uncertainty.

  • The leftist coalition has risen to power with a clear majority.

  • M K. P. Sharma Oli’s government has a comfortable majority in the Parliament, and the regime is expected to last its full term unlike previous regimes.

  • The hill - plain polarisation escalated during the constitution - writing process.

  • The plains based Madeshi groups became more vocal due to tacit Indian backing.

  • India became progressively intrusive in Nepal, as internal crisis intensified there during and after the Maoist insurgency.

India and Maldives - Recent Developments

  • Maldives Foreign Minister and its President’s special envoy to India, Mohamed Asim visited India.

  • The visit was aimed at overcoming the “trust deficit” between the two countries and reset the strained relations.

  • Maldives foreign minister reiterated Maldives “India first” policy.

  • It was conveyed that Maldives would stay sensitive to India’s concerns over peace and security in the Indian Ocean region.

  • Maldives government recently suspended three members of a local body, which was notably on charges of meeting the Indian Ambassador without seeking prior approval.

TAPI gas Pipeline

  • TAPI is 1800 Kilometre long trans - country natural gas pipeline from Turkmenistan - Afghanistan - Pakistan - India (TAPI).

  • The project will be funded by Asian Development Bank (ADB).

  • It is expected to be operational by 2019.

  • The final destination will be the Indian town of Fazilka, in Punjab near the Pakistan - India border.

US Security Doctrine and its Impact on India

  • India has welcomed Mr. Trump’s recently announced National Security Strategy (NSS), which has openly criticised many nations.

  • NSS perceives India positively, affirms India’s stature and acknowledges India’s emergence as a leading global power.

  • It supports Indian leadership in the region’s development and outlines India’s primacy for ensuring security in the Indian Ocean.

  • NSS had singled out five countries (China, Pakistan, Russia, Iran and North Korea) for criticism – which on expected lines have reacted negatively.

India - UAE Agreements

  • India and UAE have signed five new agreements related to energy sector, railways, manpower and financial services.

  • Concession on oil: MoU was signed for the acquisition of a 10 % participating interest in the Abu Dhabi’s offshore.

  • Contractual employment: An MoU that aims to institutionalise the collaborative administration of contractual employment of Indian workers in the Gulf country was signed.

  • Infrastructure: MoU for technical cooperation in railways was also signed between the two sides.

  • Finance: To deepen bilateral cooperation in the field of finance.

  • J&K: An MoU between the Government of Jammu and Kashmir and DP World was also signed.

Rafale Deal Controversy

  • The Defence Minister refused to share the price details on Rafale purchase, citing the Security Agreement provisions.

  • Rafale is a twin - engine medium multi - role combat aircraft.

  • It is manufactured by the French company Dassault Aviation.

  • Dassault claims Rafale has ‘Omnirole’ i. e capable of performing several actions at the same time.

  • Rafale can carry out both air - to - ground as well as air - to - air attacks.

  • In some cases, the details have been kept secret for reasons of national security.

Farzad - B gas Field

  • The fate of the Farzad - B gas field contract seems doomed.

  • Iran accuses India of inflexibility.

  • India charges Iran with “changing goal posts” and adopting “delay tactics” in an attempt at negotiating a more favourable deal.

  • India says that it is a very difficult field to extract gas, and the gas itself is very impure, so there are additional costs involved to clean it.

  • India says that it is a very difficult field to extract gas, and the gas itself is very impure, so there are additional costs involved to clean it.

SAREX – 18

  • It is a joint search and rescue exercise between India and Japan to help increase mutual understanding in Anti - Piracy operations.

  • During the exercise, helicopters of the Japan and Indian Coast Guard will perform cross landing operations to improve compatibility between the two forces.

  • This year, it will be held in Chennai.

  • Japanese coast guard ship “Tsugaru”, a patrol vessel with helicopters will participate in this exercise.

Jerusalem as Israel’s Capital - US

  • U. S. President Trump reversed the decades old policy and recognised Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

  • US administration would also begin a process of moving the U. S. embassy in Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

  • Jerusalem is in ways symbolic of the Israel - Palestine conflict itself.

  • Jerusalem is almost the key to stability of the entire Middle East.

  • UN Resolution on Jerusalem: A resolution was passed in the UN with the support of 128 nations against USA’s recent stand on the status of Jerusalem.

US Special Watch list

  • US placed Pakistan on “Special Watch List” for severe violations of religious freedom.

  • Pakistan was the first country to be put under the newly - formed list.

  • In accordance with the International Religious Freedom Act of 1998, US annually designate governments that have engaged in or tolerated systematic, ongoing, and egregious violations of religious freedom as ‘Countries of Particular Concern’.

Polar Silk Road

  • China has recently released its first official Arctic policy white paper which outlined its ambitions to develop a “Polar Silk Road” of new Arctic shipping lanes opened up by global warming.

  • China, despite being a non - Arctic state, is increasingly active in the polar region and became an observer member of the Arctic Council in 2013.

  • The project is the latest extension of Belt and Road Initiative.

Pyeong Chang Winter Games

  • 2018 Winter Olympics took place in Pyeong Chang in South Korea.

  • The Winter Olympic Games is a major international sporting event.

  • It is held once every four years.

  • It includes sports practised on snow and ice.

  • Peyong Chang is expected to help in easing tensions between the North and South Korea through people to people contact.

Unified Package Insurance Scheme

  • Provide financial protection to citizen associated in agriculture sector.

  • Ensuring food security and food diversification.

  • Enhancing growth and competitiveness of agriculture sector.

  • The Scheme will take care of insurance needs of farmers and will provide yield - based crop insurance to the farmers based on his ownership rights of the land and sown crop.

- Published/Last Modified on: May 30, 2018

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