9 PM Current Affairs Brief – October 8th, 2018

Download the compilation of all summaries of all the news articles here


EC revises poll affidavit format after SC order

EC revises poll affidavit format after SC order


  1. News affidavit format approved by Election Commission to be filled by political candidates in upcoming assembly polls.

Important Facts:

  1. In new affidavit, Party candidate is required to fill up the form provided by the EC, which will contain
  • All his/her criminal particulars.
  • Pending criminal cases will have to be declared in bold letters.
  • The candidate will also be required to inform the political party from which he/she is contesting about his/her criminal background, if any.
  • The party will then be obligated to put up on its website the information pertaining to candidates having criminal antecedents.
  1. The purpose is to help voters make an informed decision.
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Oldest friends: India and Russia

Oldest friends: India and Russia


  1. India needs strong commitment to deepen its engagement with Russia in coming years.

Important Facts:

  1. India and Russia in a recent meet has announced various important agreements of geopolitical importance such as:
  • Including a $5.43 billion S-400 Triumf missile system
  • Space cooperation arrangement to put an Indian in space
  • Action plan for a new nuclear plant
  • Attempt to diversify ties and increase bilateral trade in energy sector.
  1. Though the two sides didn’t announce an agreement between ONGC Videsh and Gazprom as expected, several billions of dollars’ worth of investment and energy deals have been finalised.
  2. However, significantly, the agreements discussed during Mr. Putin’s visit have geopolitical implications and denotes India’s desire to deepen defence cooperation with Russia
  3. Washington has already reacted to the S-400 deal under CAATSA, made it clear that waiver will not be on a “country” basis, but on a “transaction-by-transaction” basis.
  4. Accepting a waiver will implicitly commit India to reducing its intake of Russian military hardware.
  5. India has made it clear that it regards the US as an extremely important country with which it wants strong and deep ties. But this cannot come at the cost of India’s sovereign foreign policy choice.
  6. It can be argued because of improvement in relations with China and strong ties with Russia, India has managed to keep more strategic space for itself which will help India to strike a better deal with U.S.
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Prelims Facts:

Prelims Facts:

Policy of Non-refoulement:

  • UN has expressed concern over India’s  decision of deporting 7 Rohingya refugees and has asked India to abide by the policy of non refoulement.
  • Refoulement refers to expulsion of an individual or group who have the right to be recognised as refugees.
  • The principle of non refoulement emphasises that a person should not be sent back / expelled unless the final determination of their status is pending.
  • The principle is set out under the 1951 Convention relating to status of Refugees and its Protocol. (India is not a signatory).

Van Vihar National Park

  • Van Vihar National Park is a located in the Bhopal district of the state of Madhya Pradesh.
  • It is located adjacent to Upper Lake of Bhopal city at Madhya Pradesh in Central India.
  • It harbors herbivores like Chital, Sambar, and blue bull under free ranging condition and the animals like tiger, lion, leopard, hyena, crocodile and gharial under captive condition
  • Van Vihar Safari Park is a paradise for bird enthusiasts, where one could found birds like Peacocks, Munias, barlets, wagtails, bulbuls, orioles, Kala Teetar, Blue Kingfisher, Phakta and migratory birds such as Tree Pie and Drongo.
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India raises protectionism issue at G-20 meeting

India raises protectionism issue at G-20 meeting


1.The meeting of G-20 is taking place amidst the ongoing global trade war.

Important facts:

  1. The group emphasized the importance of World Trade Organisation (WTO) as the forum to resolve disputes.
  2. U.S. is attempting  to weaken the WTO as it has refused to back appointments for the appellate body.
  3. India emphasized that earlier commitments of WTO need to be monitored to find whether these have been fulfilled.
  4. India also emphasized the role of multi-lateralism.

Decision making in WTO

  1. At WTO all decisions are taken through consensus- with dissent even by one of the over 160 members resulting in a stalemate.

Dispute settlement in the WTO

  1. Dispute settlement system is the central pillar of the multilateral trading system.
  2. By joining the WTO, member countries have agreed that if they believe fellow members are in violation of trade rules, they will use the multilateral system of settling disputes instead of taking action unilaterally.
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Farmers likely to earn 20% higher MSP on organic crop

Farmers likely to earn 20% higher MSP on organic crop

1.The Union government is thinking of providing MSP for organic produce in order to promote pesticide free farming in the country.

Important Facts:

2. At present the only state which provides support for organic produce is Sikkim.

3. The government is thinking of offering 20% higher MSP for organic farm produce and procuring a minimum 10% of organic produce to promote pesticide-free and fertilizer-free farming.

Other measures to support organic farmers

  • Geo-tagging of organic area
  • Specific logo for organic produce (Jaivik Bharat)
  • Issuing unique IDs to farmers to ensure traceability of organic farms

Area under organic farming

4. More than 23 lakh hectares has been brought under certified organic farming in the country.
Challenge in implementing MSP for organic produce

5. It remains to be seen that how MSP benefits  covers the organic farmers because MSP covers the cost of production. On the other hand, organic farmers get price of their produce on quality.

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Needed: Noah’s Ark for microbes

Needed: Noah’s Ark for microbes


  1. Scientists have warned that humanity is facing a health crisis as many of the beneficial microbes that inhabit people’s bodies are being eradicated by antibiotics and processed diets.

Important Facts:

  1. In a paper published in the journal ‘Science’ scientists laid out their ambitious vision to deal with a problem of preserving human microbiota which is compared to climate change in severity.

3.Scientists noted that industrialisation is strongly linked with a decline in microbiota diversity. For example, hunter gatherers living in remote Amazonian villages had twice the number of microbes living in their guts as the average American.

  1. To preserve the microscopic life for future generations, scientists have called for a “Noah’s Ark” of germs to be collected from people in untouched corners of the world who have not been impacted by modern society.

5.The model for such a scheme is the Svalbard Global Seed Vault, a bank storing crops and plants from around the world to prepare for a doomsday scenario.

  1. The scientists also noted that socalled biobanking initiatives are springing up in research institutions around the world, but most so far have only focused on samples from industrialised nations.

  1. Significance:
  • Researchers said in the future it may be possible to prevent diseases by reintroducing lost microbes. However, for this to happen humanity’s “ancestral microbial heritage” must be preserved.
  • The scientists suggested that the best way to achieve this is to collect beneficial microbes from remote Latin American and African populations.
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From energy to infrastructure, IPCC lists four pathways to curb global warming

From energy to infrastructure, IPCC lists four pathways to curb global warming


  1. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), recently released a report in Seoul presenting four pathways to explore the possibilities of keeping the temperature rise within 1.5 degrees Celsius.

Important News:

2. The  demand to prepare a report was made by smaller and poorer countries, especially the small island states, which face the maximum risks from the impact of climate change.

3. In earlier reports, which have formed the basis of global action, the IPCC has said that climate change could have “irreversible” and “catastrophic” impacts if the global average temperatures were allowed to rise beyond 2 degrees Celsius.

4. The report, known as SR15, will be the main scientific input at the Talanoa Dialogue in the Katowice Climate Change Conference (COP24) in December 2018  in Poland.

5. IPCC assessments:

  • The assessment refers to climate models that project “robust differences in regional climate characteristics” between ‘present-day and global warming of 1.5 degrees Celsius’, and ‘between 1.5 and 2 degrees Celsius’.
  • These differences include:

(i) increase in mean temperatures in both land ocean regions

(ii) hot extremes in most inhabited regions,

(iii) heavy precipitation in several regions, and

(iv) the probability of drought and precipitation deficits in some regions.

  • The report also points out that “climate-related risks to health, livelihoods, food security, water supply, human security, and economic growth” are projected to increase with global warming of 1.5 degrees Celsius and increase further with 2 degrees Celsius.
  • As per report, advantages of keeping the global temperature rise within 1.5 degrees celsius from pre-industrial levels:-
  • By 2100, global sea level rise would be 10 cm lower with global warming of 1.5 degrees compared with 2 degrees Celsius.
  • Arctic Ocean free of sea ice in summer would be once per century with global warming of 1.5 degrees, compared with at least once per decade with 2 degrees Celsius.
  • Coral reefs would decline by 70-90 percent with global warming of 1.5 degrees, whereas virtually all (over 99 per cent) would be lost with 2 degrees Celsius.
  • Reduce the number of people exposed to climate-related risks and poverty by up to several hundred million by 2050.
  • The same limit can result in reduced losses in yields of maize, rice, wheat and other cereal crops, particularly in Asia.

6. Varying amounts between 100 to 1000 gigatons (billion tonnes) of carbon dioxide would need to be removed from the atmosphere in these four pathways, the report says. The world currently emits about 47 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide every year.

7. Assessments of the new report:

  • The IPCC report says that to limit the global temperature rise, interventions are required in the following areas namely:

(i)   Energy

(ii)  Land

(iii) Urban infrastructure (including transport and buildings)

(iv) Industrial systems

  • The world would need to bring down its greenhouse gas to about half of its 2010 levels by 2030, and to net zero by about 2050 to keep the increase in global average temperatures to within 1.5 degrees Celsius of pre-industrial times.
  • Carbon Dioxide Removal (CDR) would be used to compensate for residual emissions and, in most cases, achieve net negative emissions to return global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius following a peak.

8. India’s Case:

The report also highlights the following impacts that developing countries like India would face if its warming touches 2°C as compared to 1.5°C:

  • Higher risks from heavy precipitation events, including flooding and tropical cyclones of category 4 and 5, over the North Indian Ocean near the Arabian Sea.
  • Increased number of hot days; Kolkata can expect annual conditions to be equivalent to that of the 2015 heat wave.
  • Coastal flooding from sea level rise; high risk to coastal communities due to loss of coastal ecosystems, such as, communities around the Ganga-Brahmaputra delta and Mahanadi delta will be subject to increased vulnerability.
  • It will dent India’s GDP by 2.8% and depress the living standards of nearly half the population by 2050, with people living in the severe “hotspot” districts of central India, particularly Vidarbha, staring at the prospect of an over 10% dip in economic consumption.
  • Decreased food availability as a result of projected dip in crop production, particularly maize, rice, wheat and other cereal crops; decreased nutritional quality of rice and wheat.
  • Rising temperatures creating severe negative impact on livestock due to changes in feed quality, spread of diseases, and lack of availability of water resources.
  • Increased risk of vector-borne diseases such as malaria and dengue.
  • Extinction rates for plants, vertebrates, and insects will increase by 50 per cent. 
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Upgraded MiG-29 adds to air power 

Upgraded MiG-29 adds to air power 


  1. India to get big boost in defense after upgraded Mig-29.

Important Facts:

  1. The country to celebrate the Air Force Day on October 8 and present a showcase of the upgraded MiG-29 with its combat capabilities at Adampur Air Force Station.
  2. Features of Upgraded Mig-29 – A combat aircraft which is flexible and can maneuver every situation
  • Mig 29 is a twin-engine jet fighter aircraft designed in the Soviet Union.
  • compatible with latest missiles and can launch multi-dimensional attacks
  • Capability of taking off vertically
  • Multi-Functional Display (MFD) screen.
  • Air-to-Air refueling feature
  • Air-to-Air, Air-to-Ground and Anti-Shipping Operation,
  • Glass cockpit having digital screens
  1. Adampur Air Force Station
  • Is around 100 km from Pakistan and 250 km away from China borders, is now equipped with upgraded MiG-29.


  • The Indian Air Force celebrates its 86th anniversary on 08 Oct 2018.
  • The IAF has the prime responsibility of securing the Indian airspace as well as to carry out aerial warfare during any clash.
  • IAF also participates in the United Nations peacekeeping missions.
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