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GS 1

Geophysical phenomena


Monsoon to cover entire country this week: (The Hindu)


Country to stay under monsoon for long Context:

  • Monsoon rains are expected to cover the whole country in the next week and are likely to strengthen over central India.

The concern:

  • Normally, the monsoon enters into a ‘break,’ or a prolonged interval of around a week in the middle of July and sometimes August.
  • If the breaks were to last too long, it could harbinger a drought.
  • There the concern is that yet no indication of a break so far is being accounted.
  • Monsoon rains are likely to advance into remaining parts of Jammu division and Himachal Pradesh, Haryana and some parts of Punjab for a long period of time, a key region that determines the fate of the monsoon.

The reason:

  • The risk of an El Nino, an anomalous heating of the central Pacific that’s associated with weak rains over India, is low this year.
  • Some international weather models expect it to emerge around winter but the IMD’s models do not expect it to emerge until late next year.

GS 2

Government policies


SC stays cattle sale rules across nation: (The Hindu)


Issue of Cattle on hold Context:

  • The Supreme Court on Tuesday stayed the Centre’s May 26 notification, banning cattle sale in livestock markets for slaughter and religious sacrifices.

What is it about?

  • The order came after the government acquiesce that public outcry and objections from the States about the law’s impact on livelihoods made it realize that the rules need improvement.
  • The government had received a large number of representations which says that certain aspects of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Regulation of Livestock Markets) Rules, 2017 and the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Maintenance of Case Property Animals) Act, 2017 were troubling and threw up some sensitive questions about the Central rules.

‘India-China relations a factor of stability amid global uncertainty: (The Hindu) ‘The only way to deal with the Chinese is directly: (The Hindu)


(Both Covered) Change in status quo: India – China Context

  • Despite both the leaders meeting each other twice since Chinese demolished Indian bunkers in the Doklam plateau, the situation doesn’t seem to unwind.

Historical peace

  • In 1980s, India had a modus vivendi with the Chinese.
  • It was formalized during Rajiv Gandhi’s visit in 1988 and then during the border peace and tranquility treaty of 1993.
  • It restricted both sides into maintaining the status quo and where they had doubts about a part of the boundary, they would actually sit down and talk their way through the problem.
  • The situation at Sumdorong Chu (Wangdung, north of Tawang in Arunachal Pradesh, that saw action in 1986), took eight-10 years to resolve but it eventually did get resolved.

Current issue

  • The western tri-junction of India, Bhutan and China issue involves three countries and all three countries have to agree on the posts.
  • It represents a transformation in the status quo, because to build a road represents a permanent presence.
  • The spokesperson of the Chinese Foreign Office is concluding this is very as very serious issue. In most cases, earlier, it always amounted to restoring the status quo and then discussing whatever issues either side might have.
  • India-China ties are under stress for some time, beginning with the Chinese attitude toward the membership of the NSG (Nuclear Suppliers Group).
  • Masood Azhar’s listing (as a global terrorist by the UN), or the CPEC (China-Pakistan Economic Corridor), all of which adds to it.

GS 3

Geophysical phenomena

Pollution and Conservation

Indian Economy. Planning, Growth and Employment


Getting GST right: (The Hindu, Editorial)


A petition to get sanitary napkins free from GST bracket Context

  • Online petition on March 8, requesting the Union Finance Minister to make eco-friendly sanitary pads tax-free and reduce the tax bracket of other napkins from 12-14% to 5% gets people attention.

The appeal

  • The petition found more than three lakh people support.
  • The Union Health and the Women and Child Development Ministers also agreed that it was a worthy proposal.
  • The Finance Minister recognized that it was a cause proposed by activists and non-governmental organizations.
  • Only the members of GST Council did not pay heed to such important issue.
  • A woman needs all means possible to help her during menstruation can only be forcefully argued by women.

Issue of Women Empowerment

  • If women essentials get taxed, the rising price effect the woman workforce, school dropout’s and also leads to rise in gender crimes.
  • The petition has always been received by the government with sensitivity, and have drawn reassurances.
  • The right to equality is not an easy right to ensure and enforce, somehow.

India needs to update

  • India is still a country where many women are still dependent on cloth-based products as they cannot access high quality, expensive personal hygiene products.
  • Lack of sufficient information about sanitary pads is still present in rural areas.
  • Women even now has to use hay, ash, sand, wood shavings, newspaper, dried leaves, or even plastic as a substitute for a hygiene product, despite subsidized napkins being distributed under the National Rural Health Mission (NHRM) in many States.
  • In India, 70% of women still claims that their families cannot afford to buy sanitary pads.

Prelims Related News Earth facing sixth mass extinction: Earth’s sixth mass extinction at verge Context

  • More than 30% of animals with a backbone fish, birds, amphibians, reptiles and mammals are declining in both range and population

Biological annihilation occurring globally

  • Scientists cautioned about the sixth mass extinction of life on earth getting unfolded than it should have.
  • Around a decade ago, experts dreaded that a new planetary wipeout of species was looming.
  • At present, most agree that it is under way but the new study suggests that the die-out is already here.
  • It provides much-needed data about the risk to wildlife, mapping the declining ranges and population of 27,600 species.
  • For 177 mammals, researchers examined through data covering the period 1900 to 2015.
  • The mammal species that were supervised have lost at least a third of their original habitat.
  • 40% of them including rhinos, orangutans, gorillas and many big cats are surviving on 20% or less of the land they once roamed.
  • The loss of biodiversity has recently hastened.
  • There are as few as 20,000 lions left in the wild, less than 7,000 cheetahs, 500 to 1,000 giant pandas, and about 250 Sumatran rhinoceros.

Implications of such drastic wipeout

  • Tropical regions have seen the uppermost number of deteriorating species.
  • While fewer species are disappearing in temperate zones, the percentage is just as high or higher.
  • As many as half of the number of animals that once shared our planet are no longer here.
  • The prime causes of wildlife decline are habitat loss, over – consumption, pollution, invasive species, disease, as well as poaching in the case of tigers, elephants, rhinos and other large animals prized for their body parts.
  • Climate change is poised to become a major threat in the coming decades.

Malabar submarine drills worry China: China irked by India’s naval exercise at Malabar Context

  • China is thoroughly monitoring and seems unhappy about the ongoing Malabar naval exercises between India, the U.S. and Japan.

Malabar naval exercise

  • The Indian Navy’s mounting clout to detect Chinese submarines and surface ships in the Indian Ocean, using newly acquired weaponry from Washington disturbs China.
  • As per the reports, there are presence of three aircraft carriers of three countries in the military exercises practiced at Malabar.
  • The attention of the drills seems to be anti-submarine warfare (ASW).
  • Chinese feel that their submarines are getting targeted.
  • The Malabar exercise used to be a widespread drill that had included air defense, anti-ship elements etc.
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