June 2018
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DAC approves procurement of radars, air cushion vehicles


Mains Paper 3: Security | Security challenges and their management in border areas

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: DAC, RADAR Technology, ACVs

Mains level: Modernisation of Armed forces


High Speed Targets detection Radars

  1. The Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) approved procurement of high powered radars for the Indian Air Force and air cushion vehicles for the Army and the Coast Guard together worth over ₹5,500 crore.
  2. The 12 high power radars will be procured indigenously under the ‘Buy (Indian) IDDM’ category.
  3. The radars will provide long range medium and high altitude radar cover with the capability to detect and track high speed targets following parabolic trajectories.
  4. Technologically superior, the radars will have the capability to scan 360 degrees without mechanical rotation of Antenna and will operate on 24×7 basis with minimal maintenance requirement.

ACVs: the All-Terrain-Vehicles

  1. In the other deal, air cushion vehicles (ACVs) to be procured from an Indian shipyard.
  2. This will enable travel at very high speeds over shallow water, sand banks, mud flats and swamps which are non-navigable by boats and small crafts due to draught restrictions or uncharted depths


Defense Acquisition Council (DAC)

  1. It was set up on August 29, 2001
  2. This was done to counter corruption and speed up decision-making in military procurements
  3. Head of the Council: Defence Minister
  4. Functions of DAC:
  • Will give policy guidelines to acquisitions, based on long-term procurement plans
  • Will also clear all acquisitions, including imported equipment and those produced indigenously or under a foreign license

Defence Procurement Board will deal with purchases

Defence Production Board which will supervise procurement from indigenous sources, such as ordnance factories and equipment manufactured under a foreign license

Defence Sector – DPP, Missions, Schemes, Security Forces, etc.

[pib] Operation NISTAR Successfully Culminates with Safe Disembarkations of 38 Indian Nationals at Porbandar


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: Spot all places mentioned on World Map, Operation NISTAR

Mains level:  Not Much


Operation NISTAR

  • INS Sunayana successfully evacuated 38 Indian Nationals at/ off Socotra Islands during a swift Humanitarian and Disaster Relief Operation (HADR), code named Operation NISTAR.
  • The Indian Nationals were stranded after severe Cyclonic Storm – Mekunu devastated the area around Socotra Island.
  • INS Sunayana was diverted from Gulf of Aden deployment to Socotra Island for search and rescue operations.

Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) in India’s National Strategy

  • HADR operations have attracted the attention of the global community in recent years.
  • The Indian armed forces have a wide experience of disaster relief operations both at home and abroad, where they have been the core of relief operations.
  • Due to its sub-continental size, geographical location and its vulnerability to disasters, India has kept its forces ready to render assistance at short notice.
  • In the six decades since independence, India has experienced a number of natural and man-made disasters such as floods, earthquakes, famines, industrial accidents etc.
  • At the same time, India has partnered the global community in providing relief in affected regions
Indian Navy Updates

[op-ed snap] Averting Ponzi schemes


Mains Paper 2: Governance | Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: Ponzi Schemes, Particulars of the Draft

Mains level: The new bill seeks to protect investors from rising instances of scams



  1. A Ponzi scheme is a fraudulent investing scam promising high rates of return with little risk to investors.
  2. Instances of people losing their hard-earned money to Ponzi schemes keep coming to light.
  3. The Banning of Unregulated Deposit Schemes Bill, 2018 was approved by the Union Cabinet to provide comprehensive legislation to deal with illicit deposit schemes in the country.

Provisions of the draft Bill

  1. The Bill imposes complete prohibition of unregulated deposit taking activity.
  2. Primarily, the Bill defines the “deposit taker” and “deposit” comprehensively.
  3. Some other provisions include:
  • Stringent punishment for fraudulent default in repayment to depositors.
  • Designation of a competent authority by the State government to ensure repayment of deposits in the event of default by a deposit taking establishment
  • Powers and functions of the competent authority including attachment of assets of a defaulting establishment
  • Designation of courts to oversee repayment of depositors and to try offences under the Act, and
  • Listing of Regulated Deposit Schemes in the Bill with a clause enabling the Central government to expand or prune the list.
  1. The Bill contains a substantive banning clause which bans deposit takers from promoting, operating, issuing advertisements or accepting deposits in any Unregulated Deposit Scheme.
  2. The primary responsibility of implementing the provisions lies with the State governments.

Bill recognises 3 types of Offences

The Bill specifies three different types of offences:

  • Running of Unregulated Deposit Schemes,
  • Fraudulent default in Regulated Deposit Schemes, and
  • Wrongful inducement in relation to Unregulated Deposit Schemes.

Prevention better than Cure

  1. The principle of the bill is that it would ban unregulated deposit taking activities altogether, by making them an offence ex-ante, rather than the existing legislative-cum-regulatory framework which only comes into effect ex-post with considerable delays.
  2. It has adequate provisions for repayment of deposits in cases where such schemes nonetheless manage to raise deposits illegally.
  3. The Bill provides for attachment of properties/ assets by the competent authority and subsequent realisation of assets for repayment to depositors in a stipulated time.
  4. The Bill also enables creation of a central online database, for collection and sharing of information on deposit taking activities in the country.
Capital Markets: Challenges and Developments

RBI initiates work on Public Credit Registry


Mains Paper 3: Economy | Inclusive growth & issues arising from it

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: PCR, Deosthalee Committee Report

Mains level: Read the attached story


To help strengthen the credit culture in the economy

  1. To provide a single-point and real-time source for financial liabilities of a person or entity, the Reserve Bank of India has decided to set up a public credit registry (PCR) in a modular and phased manner.
  2. An Implementation Task Force (ITF) is being constituted by the Reserve Bank of India to help design undertake logistics for the next steps in the setting up of the PCR.

YM Deosthalee Committee Report

RBIs decision is based on the report of the task force which pointed out that credit information is spread over multiple systems in bits and pieces, making it difficult to get a comprehensive view of the financial liabilities of a person or entity.

  1. With a view to removing information asymmetry to foster the level of access to credit, and to strengthen the credit culture in the economy, there is a need to establish a PCR.
  2. The setting up of the PCR will consolidate all financial information about borrowers exists at present in silos and often impacts the time taken to get a loan, as well as the quantum of loan, sanctioned.
  3. A comprehensive credit information repository covering all types of credit facilities (funded and non-funded) extended by all credit institutions – commercial banks, cooperative banks, NBFCs, MFIs.
  4. Also covering borrowings from other sources, including external commercial borrowings and borrowing from market, is essential to ascertain the total indebtedness of a legal or natural person.
  5. It had also suggested that the registry should facilitate linkage to related ancillary credit information available outside the banking system, such as corporate balance sheet information and GSTN, depending on the legal provisions.
  6. However, it had recommended that the registry should NOT include elements of judgment such as credit scoring services and had also called for strict privacy guidelines.

Present Mechanism

  1. Within the RBI, CRILC is a borrower-level supervisory dataset with a threshold in aggregate exposure of ₹50 million.
  2. Whereas the BSR-1 is a loan-level statistical dataset without any threshold in the amount outstanding and focuses on the distribution aspects of credit disbursal
  3. Also, there are some privately-owned credit information companies in the country
NPA Crisis

UN India business forum, NITI Aayog form consortium to help women entrepreneurs


Mains Paper 1: Social issues | Role of women and women’s organization

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: Particulars of the Consortium and its Mandate

Mains level: Initiative to harness potential of Women Entrepreneurs for contribution to our GDP


Promoting Women Entrepreneurs

  1. In full potential scenario when women participate in the economy, equally to men, it could add $2.9 trillion to India’s GDP by 2025.
  2. Indian women entrepreneurs continue to face challenges in accessing investors and raising capital.
  3. Taking this into account, the UN India Business Forum and the Women Entrepreneurial Platform of NITI Aayog formed a consortium to reduce gender disparities in start-up investments.

Purpose of the Consortium

  1. UN India-NITI Aayog Investor Consortium for Women Entrepreneurs will bring together key ecosystem stakeholders, including venture capitalists and impact investors, international donor and funding agencies, private sector partners and state governments.
  2. The consortium aims to strengthen women’s entrepreneurship by creating an enabling ecosystem for investments.
  3. Women entrepreneurs will be identified through key partners, including WEP, UN Women, and UNDP.
  4. The consortium secretariat will then connect entrepreneurs, according to their requests, with relevant members.
Women empowerment issues: Jobs,Reservation and education

[op-ed snap] Sustaining earth for the future


Mains Paper 3: Environment | Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: Anthropocene era, Half Earth project, India’s forest policy

Mains level: Changing biodiversity patterns in light of climate change and India’s efforts to deal with them


India’s rich fabric of biodiversity

  1. India is blessed with an extraordinary richness of life
  2. A myriad of unusual and exquisite species occur in the countless ecosystems spread across our vast lands, rivers, and oceans

Change in structure

  1. This unique bio-cultural tapestry has been resilient to change for centuries, but with the unleashing of unprecedented economic and environmental forces, it is now subject to increased wear and tear
  2. These forces could even destroy our tapestry of life, cultures and traditions — and in the process, ourselves
  3. Modern extinction rates are more than a thousand times greater than the rates of the geological past
  4. In recent decades, populations of more than 40% of large mammals have declined and insect biomass has decreased by more than 75%
  5. Natural habitats all over the world have shrunk

Start of Anthropocene era

  1. We have entered what scientists are calling the Anthropocene era
  2. It is a new period in earth’s history when humans have begun to impact our environment at the global scale

Half Earth project

  1. To protect life on earth, the famous American biologist E.O. Wilson has described an ambitious project he calls “Half-Earth”
  2. He calls for formally protecting 50% of the earth’s land surface in order to conserve our rapidly disappearing natural heritage

India’s efforts & policy interventions required

  1. India’s forest policy calls for forests to cover almost a third of the country, and if we include other natural systems such as grasslands and wetlands, the area to be protected could amount to almost 40%
  2. We need a massive new effort to catalog, map, and monitor life, using fundamentally different approaches
  3. This mapping effort would include not only all life, including cultures, ethnicities, and dialects but also the use of biodiversity and its vulnerability to changes in land use and climate
  4. Our institutions need to place far more emphasis on the scientific study of life at higher levels
  5. We also need a comprehensive inquiry into how our society is shaping as well as responding to changes in biodiversity

Way forward

  1. The India Biodiversity Portal has the ambitious goal of mapping India’s biodiversity with the engagement of civil society
  2. The government and private philanthropy need to bring together multiple stakeholders to develop a programme to document, map and monitor all life
  3. There is also a need to develop a new knowledge enterprise to fully explore various dimensions of biodiversity and ecosystem services and their critical link to our future
Climate Change Impact on India and World – International Reports, Key Observations, etc.

India not yet ready to sign the Hague treaty


Mains Paper 2: Governance | Government policies & interventions for development in various sectors & issues arising out of their design & implementation

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: Hague treaty on the inter-country abduction of children, National Commission for Protection of Children

Mains level: Changing pattern of society leading to failed marriages and its impact on children


Hague treaty on the inter-country abduction of children

  1. The government is not yet ready to sign the Hague treaty on the inter-country abduction of children by parents fleeing a bad marriage
  2. The government has long held the view that the decision could lead to harassment of women escaping marital discord or domestic violence
  3. There has been immense pressure from the U.S. on the government to sign the treaty

Special committee says no to legislation

  1. A committee constituted by the Centre to examine legal issues involved in international parental abduction submitted its report in April, opposing a central provision of the Hague Convention
  2. It said that the criterion of habitual residence of the child, which is used to determine whether the child was wrongfully removed by a parent as well as to seek the return of the child to the country of habitual residence, was not in the best interest of the child
  3. It also recommended setting up of a Child Removal Disputes Resolution Authority to act as a nodal body to decide on the custody of the child as well as a model law to deal with such disputes
  4. The government is contemplating assigning the National Commission for Protection of Children the responsibility to adjudicate on such cases along with a judicial expert


Hague treaty on the inter-country abduction of children

  1. The Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction or Hague Abduction Convention is a multilateral treaty developed by the Hague Conference on Private International Law (HCCH) that provides an expeditious method to return a child internationally abducted by a parent from one member country to another
  2. The Convention was drafted to ensure the prompt return of children who have been abducted from their country of habitual residence or wrongfully retained in a contracting state not their country of habitual residence
  3. The primary intention of the Convention is to preserve whatever status quo child custody arrangement existed immediately before an alleged wrongful removal or retention thereby deterring a parent from crossing international boundaries in search of a more sympathetic court
  4. The Convention applies only to children under the age of 16
  5. The Convention does not alter any substantive rights
  6. The Convention requires that a court in which a Hague Convention action is filed should not consider the merits of any underlying child custody dispute, but should determine only that country in which those issues should be heard
Child Rights – POSCO, Child Labour Laws, NAPC, etc.

‘Birth of Satyagraha’: Sushma travels to Pietermaritzburg

Related image


Mains Paper 1: History | All syllabus

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: Satyagraha principles, Gandhi’s contribution to India as well as African efforts of independence

Mains level: Relevance of Satyagraha in today’s world


Remembering the start of ‘Satyagraha’

  1. External Affairs Minister undertook a train journey on Thursday from Pentrich to Pietermaritzburg
  2. It is a railway station in South Africa where a young Mahatma Gandhi was thrown out of a “Whites-only” compartment 125 years ago

What happened to Gandhi that led to the birth of the transformational idea  

  1. On the night of June 7, 1893, Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, then a young lawyer, was thrown off the train’s first class compartment at Pietermaritzburg station after he refused to give up his seat as ordered by racially prejudiced officials
  2. The incident led him to develop his Satyagraha principles of peaceful resistance and mobilize people in South Africa and in India against the discriminatory rules of the British
History- Important places, persons in news

India’s rank marginally improves in peace index


Mains Paper 1: Social issues | Communalism

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: Global Peace Index (GPI)

Mains level: Rising instances of communal violence in India manifested in various forms and its effects on India’s global image


India more peaceful

  1. India’s rank has marginally improved in “global peacefulness”, at a time when there is an overall decline of global peace
  2. This is mainly due to an escalation of violence in West Asia and North Africa

Global Peace Index (GPI)

  1. India’s rank has improved marginally in the Global Peace Index (GPI), released by Australia-based Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP)
  2. India’s GPI rank was 137 out of 163 countries in 2017, when the year 2016 was assessed
  3. In 2018, when the year 2017 is assessed, India’s rank moved up to 136
  4. Iceland continues to remain the most peaceful country in the world, a position it has held since 2008
  5. The IEP, world’s leading think tank that develops metrics to analyze peace and quantify its economic value