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Day: March 10, 2018

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March 2018
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4.5 lakh anganwadi centres have no toilets, drinking water facilities: Report


Mains Paper 2: Governance | Welfare schemes for vulnerable sections of the population by the Centre and States and the performance of these schemes; mechanisms, laws, institutions and Bodies constituted for the protection and betterment of these vulnerable sections.

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: Particulars of the anganwadi centres

Mains level: Findings of the Parliamentary reports


Parliamentary panel report

  1. According to the report, about a third of total 13.6 lakh anganwadi centres have neither toilets nor drinking water facilities
  2. It adds that nearly 25 per cent of anganwadi centres don’t have drinking water facilities and 36 per cent of these don’t have toilets
  3. The report mentions that the under the revised Anganwadi services, the ministry plans to build 70,000 toilets and provide drinking water facilities in 2,000 AWCs
  4. Funds to the tune of Rs 54.14 crore and Rs 13.24 crore, respectively, have been released to various states

Particulars of the Anganwadi centres

  1. Anganwadi centres are part of the Centre’s Integrated Child Development Scheme
  2. And provide a package of six services–supplementary nutrition, referral services, immunisation, health check-up, pre-school non-formal education and health and nutrition education– to women and children

[Video] ASEAN through maps for Prelims 2018

The Civilsdaily team is all in to help you sail through Prelims 2018

Our chief mentor K Siddhartha sir has come up with a video series covering Geography from Prelims perspective

The sessions not only focus on covering important locations but an in-depth conceptual understanding of the geographical features and important strategic and economic factors associated with the regions being covered

If you are preparing for Prelims 2018 and beyond, this video session is a must watch to build your concepts as well as brush up a few for getting a better hit rate at Prelims questions

Watch the video here:

Trans Pacific Partnership: Latest updates and developments Global Groupings and Conventions

[op-ed snap] Trade goes on: Trans-Pacific Partnership

Image Source


Mains Paper 2: IR | Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: Particulars of the CPTPP

Mains level: Particulars of the CPTPP and, related concerns for the member countries and future members.


The Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership(CPTPP)

  1. Recently, 11 Asia-Pacific countries, including Japan, Australia and Canada, has signed the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership in Chile
  2. The CPTPP is, in effect, the original Trans-Pacific Partnership(without the USA) struck during the Barack Obama presidency

Low tariffs in the Member countries of the CPTPP

  1. The countries signing the agreement have agreed to bring down tariffs on cross-border trade by as much as 98% after domestic ratification
  2. The countries account for more than 13% of the world economy
  3. More countries are expected to sign the CPTPP in the future, and there is hope that a post-Trump U.S. may join the bloc

Criticism of the CPTPP

  1. The CPTPP, as it looks to expand influence by adding other countries into its fold, will need to address other problems as well
  2. One of the points of criticism of the TPP was the alleged influence of special interests in dictating its broad framework
  3. The TPP text, which has in large part been incorporated into the new deal, had also been flayed for mandating labour and other regulations that increase the bureaucratic burden on businesses
  4. Many have cited the size of the agreement to contend that the benefits from tariff reductions may be cancelled out by the massive increase in regulatory requirements

Will other countries join the CPTPP?

  1. While there may be no hard and fast rule to gauge the net benefit of the agreement, addressing these concerns will only strengthen the chances of more countries joining it
  2. A simpler trade agreement can also help the cause of transparency and lower the chances of lobbying by special interests in the future
Euthanasia : Euphemism for Killing? Constitution

[op-ed snap] Death with dignity


Mains Paper 2: Polity | Structure, organization and functioning of the Executive and the Judiciary

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: Read the attached story

Mains level: Reasoning behind the decision, new framework regarding passive euthanasia and advance directive.


Reasoning behind the Supreme Court’s decision on passive euthanasia

  1. The core philosophy underlying the Supreme Court’s verdict allowing passive euthanasia and giving legal status to ‘advance directives’ is that the right to a dignified life extends up to the point of having a dignified death
  2. The court’s reasoning is unexceptionable when it says burdening a dying patient with life-prolonging treatment and equipment merely because medical technology has advanced would be destructive of her dignity
  3. In such a situation, “individual interest has to be given priority over the state interest”
  4. The court has invoked its inherent power under Article 142 of the Constitution to grant legal status to advance directives, and its directives will hold good until Parliament enacts legislation on the matter

Laying down of new framework

  1. Court lays down a broad legal framework for protecting the dignity of a terminally ill patient or one in a persistent vegetative state (PVS) with no hope of cure or recovery
  2. For, in such circumstances, “accelerating the process of death for reducing the period of suffering constitutes a right to live with dignity”
  3. The core message is that all adults with the capacity to give consent “have the right of self determination and autonomy”, and the right to refuse medical treatment is also encompassed in in it

Recognition of the Passive Euthanasia and ‘Living Will’

  1. Passive euthanasia was recognised by a two-judge Bench in Aruna Shanbaug in 2011
  2. Passive euthanasia essentially involves withdrawal of life support or discontinuation of life-preserving medical treatment so that a person with a terminal illness is allowed to die in the natural course
  3. Now the Constitution Bench has expanded the jurisprudence on the subject by adding to it the principle of a ‘living will’, or an advance directive
  4. The will is a practice whereby a person, while in a competent state of mind, leaves written instructions on the sort of medical treatment that may or may not be administered in the event of her reaching a stage of terminal illness

Government is going to make a new law

  1. The government submitted that it was in the process of introducing a law to regulate passive euthanasia, but opposed the concept of advance directive on the ground that it was liable to be misused
  2. The stringent conditions imposed by the court regarding advance directives are intended to serve as a set of robust safeguards and allay any apprehensions about misuse

The way forward

  1. The court is justified in concluding that advance directives will strengthen the will of the treating doctors by assuring them that they are acting lawfully in respecting the patient’s wishes
  2. An advance directive, after all, only reflects the patient’s autonomy and does not amount to a recognition of a wish to die

[op-ed snap] A new NAM for the new norm


Mains Paper 2: IR | Bilateral, regional & global groupings & agreements involving India &/or affecting India’s interests

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: Cold war, Non-Aligned Movement, IBSA, G-15

Mains level: Relevance of NAM in today’s multipolar world


Cold War breaking out again

  1. The United States has identified both China and Russia as adversaries
  2. Leaders of both China and Russia are determined to stand up to a faltering Donald Trump, who is desperately clinging on to doctrines of ultranationalism and nuclear hegemony

Russia’s show of might

  1. Russia announced that it has invincible doomsday machines like an underwater drone armed with a nuclear warhead powerful enough to sweep away coastal facilities, aircraft carriers
  2. Also, a hypersonic vehicle impossible to intercept as it flies in a cloud of plasma “like a meteorite”

Conditions like Cold war building up

  1. Cuba is in the doghouse again and the “axis of evil” has emerged once again under Iran’s leadership
  2. This time it is a three-cornered Cold War, without any corner having committed countries to act together as military allies

Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) has lost its relevance

  1. NAM is anathema today even to those who helped shape it and reveled in it for years
  2. India had a stake in its integrity and India toiled tirelessly to keep it on the middle road, not to be hijacked by Cuba to the left or Singapore to the right
  3. Had it not been for India, NAM would have been wound up at a ministerial meeting in Ghana in 1991 soon after the collapse of the Berlin Wall
  4. Since the essence of nonalignment was freedom of thought and action, India insisted that it was valid whether there was one bloc or no bloc

‘Nonalignment 2.0’

  1. An effort was made in 2012 to craft a ‘Nonalignment 2.0’ in the context of the new global situation, India’s growing importance and the rivalry between the U.S. and China
  2. It reiterated that India needed to move quickly to extend its global role and influence

Prevailing conditions

  1. As a close defense partner of the U.S. and a member of the “Quadrilateral”, India is right in the U.S. camp
  2. Both China and Russia, which have been identified as adversaries in the U.S. worldview, have their problems with India
  3. Doklam and the Maldives have shown that China is in no mood for a compromise

Reviving NAM

  1. A movement conceived in the context of a bipolar world may not suit a tripolar world, which could become a multipolar world
  2. A partnership of near equals like IBSA (India, Brazil and South Africa) with similar interests without any ideological conflict is probably the best model to follow
  3. Something along the lines of the G-15 organized by India and like-minded countries some years ago could be put together
  4. The forum could discuss issues like climate change, terrorism, and protectionism
  5. The members may have links with the U.S., China, and Russia, but should be able to work together without the undue influence of the three

Way forward

  1. In a situation where the world is no longer bifurcated between two dominant powers, nonalignment today will require managing complicated coalitions and opportunities in an environment that is not structurally settled
  2. India will do well to move away from being a camp follower of one of the emerging poles to create our own fourth pole
Minimum Support Prices for Agricultural Produce Agriculture

NITI Aayog to work on mechanism for MSP implementation


Mains Paper 3: Agriculture | Issues related to direct & indirect farm subsidies & minimum support prices

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: Minimum Support Price, NITI Aayog, Market assurance scheme, Price deficiency procurement scheme, Private procurement and stockist scheme

Mains level: Issues related to crop prices and MSP


A mechanism for implementation of the Minimum Support Price (MSP)

  1. Government think-tank NITI Aayog said it will work out a mechanism for implementation of the Minimum Support Price (MSP) for different crops in the country
  2. The Aayog noted that the procurement by central and state agencies is limited to rice and wheat and some amount of coarse cereals

Three concepts discussed

  1. The first option related to market assurance scheme, which proposes procurement by states and compensation of losses up to a certain extent of MSP after the procurement and price realization out of the sale of the procured produce
  2. Second option related to price deficiency procurement scheme
  3. Under this scheme, if the sale price is below a modal price then the farmers may be compensated to the difference between MSP and actual price subject to a ceiling which may not exceed 25 percent of the MSP
  4. No compensation would be due if the modal price in neighboring states is above the MSP
  5. Third option related to private procurement and stockist scheme
  6. It relates to procurement by private entrepreneurs at MSP and government providing some policy and tax incentives and a commission to such private entities

Better prospects via private procurement

  1. The option of private procurement and stockist scheme offered great promise as it reduces the fiscal implications for the government, involves private entities as partners in agriculture marketing and improves the competition in the market
  2. The government’s liabilities for storage and post-procurement management and disposal are also avoided
Solar Energy – JNNSM, Solar Cities, Solar Pumps, etc. Energy

International Solar Alliance drops limits on membership


Mains Paper 2: IR | Important International institutions, agencies & fora, their structure, mandate

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: International Solar Alliance,  Tropic of Cancer, Tropic of Capricorn

Mains level: India’s renewable energy commitments and efforts in that direction


No restrictions on membership in ISA

  1. India, a founding member of the International Solar Alliance said that membership of the body will be thrown open to all countries that want to join the grouping
  2. There will be no restrictions on duration of sunlight or geographical location
  3. PM Modi and French President Emmanuel Macron will be formally launching the International Solar Alliance on 11th March

Previous criteria for membership

  1. When the International Solar Alliance was announced in 2015, 121 nations situated between the Tropic of Cancer and the Tropic of Capricorn and receiving 300 days of sunlight were deemed eligible for membership


International Solar Alliance

  1. The International Solar Alliance (ISA) is an alliance of more than 121 countries, most of them being sunshine countries, which lie either completely or partly between the Tropic of Cancer and the Tropic of Capricorn
  2. The primary objective of the alliance is to work for efficient exploitation of solar energy to reduce dependence on fossil fuels
  3. The alliance is a treaty-based inter-governmental organization
  4. The alliance is also called International Agency for Solar Policy and Application (IASPA)
  5. The International Solar Alliance (ISA) is to be headquartered in India
  6. The initiative was launched by PM Narendra Modi at the India Africa Summit and a meeting of member countries ahead of the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris in November 2015
Urban Transformation – Smart Cities, AMRUT, etc. Infrastructure

Smart City Mission: Resonating with global climate themes

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Mains Paper 1: Social issues | Urbanization , their problems & remedies

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: One Planet City Challenge, World Wildlife Fund for Nature

Mains level: India’s efforts at tackling rising urbanization


3 cities enter ‘One Planet City Challenge’

  1. Three Indian cities — Panaji, Pune, and Rajkot have been selected as national finalists in the 2017-18 edition of World Wildlife Fund for Nature (WWF)’s One Planet City Challenge (OPCC)
  2. These are among the 99 cities under the Government of India’s Smart City Mission

More competition ahead

  1. The three cities have moved on to the next phase of the challenge and will now compete for the title of National and Global Winner
  2. Over the last four years, cities that have won global challenge include – Paris (2016), Seoul (2015) Cape Town (2014) and Vancouver (2013)


One Planet City Challenge (OPCC)

  1. The One Planet City Challenge, previously known as the Earth Hour City Challenge, invites cities in participating countries to report ambitious and innovative climate actions and to demonstrate how they are delivering on the 2015 Paris Agreement on climate change
  2. Data is entered on the carbonn Climate Registry, and outreach and support is provided to cities in collaboration with ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability
  3. Final plans and data are then reviewed by an international jury of experts tasked with identifying the most outstanding cities
  4. Since the inception of the Challenge in 2011, WWF has engaged over 411 cities across 5 continents
  5. In 2017, 118 cities in 23 countries participated in the OPCC, which had a thematic focus on Sustainable transport and mobility as a major challenge facing cities everywhere

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Euthanasia : Euphemism for Killing? Constitution

Passive euthanasia verdict: It will be the doctors’ call

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Mains Paper 2: Governance | mechanisms, laws, institutions & Bodies constituted for the protection & betterment of vulnerable sections.

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: Passive euthanasia, SC guidelines

Mains level: Debate over the ethical need of euthanasia


Supreme Court guidelines on passive euthanasia

  1. Guidelines prescribed by the Supreme Court while upholding passive euthanasia and ‘Living Will’, place a huge burden on the treating physician and hospital
  2. The responsibility is on the treating doctor to ascertain the “genuineness and authenticity” of a Living Will of a terminally ill patient
  3. The living will would be placed in the custody of the Judicial Magistrate

Doctor’s call

  1. The court gives the treating doctor even a right to move the High Court, along with the dying person’s relatives or guardian, in case the Medical Board revokes permission for passive euthanasia
  2. The court also gives an individual the right to withdraw or alter his Living Will, but only in writing
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