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Daily Current Affairs : 1-Nov-2019

Major Topic Covered :

  1. EXCAVATION BY ARCHAEOLOGICAL SURVEY OF INDIA IN GOTTIPROLU

  2. FIRST LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR OF UNION TERRITORY OF JAMMU AND KASHMIR

  3. SPYWARE PEGASUS

  4. 15 POINT REFORM CHARTER FOR BETTER FUNCTIONING OF PARLIAMENT

  5. INDIA AMONG TOP NATIONS WITH MOST CONDUCIVE ENVIRONMENT FOR FINANCIAL INCLUSION

  6. AFRICAN SWINE FEVER


EXCAVATION BY ARCHAEOLOGICAL SURVEY OF INDIA IN GOTTIPROLU

It include in GS- 1(History, Art & Culture)


Why in news?

  • The 1st phase of excavation by a team of Archaeological Survey of India’s Excavation Branch – VI, Bangalore at Gottiprolu near Naidupeta in Nellore (now renamed as Sri Potti Sri Ramulu) district, Andhra Pradesh has discovered the remains of a huge settlement surrounded by a massive brick enclosure.


Highlights:

  • The site of Gottiprolu lies on the right bank of a distributary of river Swarnamukhi about seventeen kilometers east of Naidupet and eighty kilometers from Tirupati and Nellore.

  • An early historic settlement surrounded by a fortification and the possibility of a moat encircling it.


Fortification:

  • The fortification is very much clear on the eastern and southern sides of the mound while its other arm seems to have been levelled as a result of modern settlements.


Bricks structure:

  • The excavations carried out in the already levelledarea revealed elliptical, circular and rectangular brick structures.

  • Southern part of the mound,this structure is of baked bricks and exposed to a length of more than 75 meters with an average width of about 3.40 meters, which rise to a height of nearly 2 meters and runs in a curvilinear pattern towards the northern end of the mound.

  • The available brick sizes (43 - 48 cm) are comparable with the Satavahana / Ikshvaku period structures in Krishna valley i.e. Amaravati and Nagarjunakonda.

  • On the basis of the brick size and associated findings they can be placed anywhere between 2nd–1st century BCE or little later (nearly 2000 years old).


Vishnu Sculpture:

  • The discovery of a buried Vishnu sculpture from the western part of the village.It displays a four-armed Vishnu standing over a pedestal carrying chakra and conch in his upper right and left hands respectively.

  • The lower right is in bestowing boon and the left hand in katihastha (resting on the hip) posture.

  • The iconographical feature like the elaborate head gear, thick holy thread and decorative drapery dates it to Pallava period (circa 8th cent. CE).


Terracotta:

  • Other interesting antiquity retrieved is the molded female terracotta figurinewith two hands lifted upwards.

  • Interesting pottery finds are the base of conical jars placed at the eastern side of the structure. Such conical jars are widely distributed in Tamil Nadu and considered to be imitated variety of Roman Amphorae jars.


Pottery:

  • Other major retrieved antiquities unearthed are copper and lead coins, iron spear head, stone Celts, terracotta beads, ear stud in semi-precious stone and hopscotches.

  • The ceramic assemblage of the site consisted of fine quality black and red ware collected from the lower levels, conical jars, rouletted sherds, russet coated ware etc.

  • The extensively used goblet shaped ware indicates the typical table ware associated with the site.


Drainage pattern:

  • The drainage system pattern is understood by the exposed remains of the drainage at the site.


Period:

  • The findings of assorted stone tools of Palaeolithic and Neolithicperiods from secondary contexts suggest that prehistoric people also occupied this area. Further studies are being carried out through geological, chemical analysis of the site/samples.


Trade:

  • These settlements could have been an important trade centre as indicated by the presence of imitated amphorae wares that were mostly used to transport liquid commodities.

  • The proximity of the site to the seacoast suggests that the site could have served as a strategic settlement involved in maritime trade. Further research will reveal interesting facts about the site as trade centre.

Temple Structure:

  • Explorations conducted in and around Gottiprolu within a radius of 15 kilometers revealed important vestigesviz., fortified early historic settlement at Puduru, Sunbrahmanya temple at Mallam, unique rock cut laterite stepped well at Yakasiri, Vishnu temple at Tirumuru.

  • Further the entire seacoast on the east is dotted with various forms of antiquarian remains extending from Tamil Nadu and culturally linked with each other.

Fortification of Town:

  • The two fortified townships within the gap of 15kms during early historic timesindicates the significant strategic location was preferred by the early historic people for trade in the region keeping in view of proximity of the sea, River and Lake (Pulicat).

Source: PIB




FIRST LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR OF UNION TERRITORY OF JAMMU AND KASHMIR

It include in GS- 2 (Polity and Constitution)


Why in news?

  • Shri Girish Chandra Murmu took oath as the first Lieutenant Governor of the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir on 31st October.


Highlights:

  • He was administered the Oath of Office and Secrecy by Justice Gita Mittal, Chief Justice of Jammu and Kashmir High Court, at a function held at the Raj Bhavan.

  • Shri B.V.R. Subrahmanyam, Chief Secretary, read the Warrant of Appointment.


Other important information:


  • October 31 will mark the beginning of the functioning of the two UTs at a bureaucratic level. This was the date chosen after the bifurcation was announced in Parliament on August 5.

  • The two union territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh came into effect under the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Act.

  • While Jammu and Kashmir will have an elected Assembly and council of ministers headed by a chief minister, Ladakh will be under the Lieutenant Governor's rule.

  • This is the first time that a state has been reorganised into union territories. India now has 28 states and nine union territories.

  • Jammu and Kashmir Assembly will be increasing from its current strength to 114. It will have a term of five years, instead of the state Assembly’s term of six years.

  • The Legislative Council of Jammu and Kashmir will stand abolished. Jammu and Kashmir was one of the seven states to have a legislative council.

  • Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir will have five Lok Sabha MPs and four Rajya Sabha MPs. Ladakh will have one Lok Sabha MP.

  • The Constitution of Jammu and Kashmir and the Ranbir Penal Code (RPC) have also ceased to exist now from JK and Ladakh. Indian Penal Code provisions will now be applicable.

  • Central probe agencies like the National Investigation Agency and the Central Bureau of Investigation will now be able to take up investigations in the state on their own.

  • The two union territories will have a common high court.

  • While Jammu and Kashmir will be having a Public Service Commission, Ladakh will come under the Union Public Service Commission’s ambit.

Source: PIB




SPYWARE PEGASUS

It include in GS- 3(Security)


Why in news?

  • Popular messaging platform WhatsApp was used to spy on journalists and human rights activists in India earlier this year. The surveillance was carried out using a spyware tool called Pegasus, which has been developed by an Israeli firm, the NSO Group.


Pegasus:

  • All spyware does what the name suggests they spy on people through their phones.


Developed:

  • It has been developed by the Israeli cyberarms firm, NSO Group. The NSO Group is a Tel Aviv-based cyber-security company that specialises in “surveillance technology” and claims to help governments and law enforcement agencies across the world fight crime and terrorism.


How it works?


  • Pegasus works by sending an exploit link, and if the target user clicks on the link, the malware or the code that allows the surveillance is installed on the user’s phone.

  • Once Pegasus is installed, the attacker has complete access to the target user’s phone.


When it first observed?

  • The first reports on Pegasus’s spyware operations emerged in 2016, when Ahmed Mansoor, a human rights activist in the UAE, was targeted with an SMS link on his iPhone 6. The Pegasus tool at that time exploited a software chink in Apple’s iOS to take over the device. Apple responded by pushing out an update to “patch” or fix the issue.

Source: Indian Express



15 POINT REFORM CHARTER FOR BETTER FUNCTIONING OF PARLIAMENT

It include in GS- 2(Polity and Constitution)


Why in news?

  • Expressing concern over the functioning of parliamentary institutions in the country and erosion of public trust in them, the Vice President, Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu 29th

  • October 2019, unveiled a 15-point reform charter as the basis for a new political normal to enable effective functioning of the Parliament and State Legislatures.


IMPORTANT POINTS OF 15 POINT REFORM CHARTER:

  • A new political consciousness about genesis of the Constitution of India and functioning of legislatures in the country urging all the stakeholders to review their mindset with regard to their roles and responsibilities.

  • Expressing concern over poor attendance in the legislatures and the quality of debates, the Vice President urged the political parties to ensure attendance of at least 50% of their legislators all through the proceedings of the Houses by adopting a roster system.

  • Referring to the functioning of the Department Related Standing Committees that came into being in 1993 fordetailed examination of legislative proposals, Demands for Grants and other select subjects on behalf of the Parliament.He expressed concern over declining attendance, lack of specialisation, limited tenure of one-year, frequent hopping of Committees etc.

  • Shri Naidu said that he would discuss with Lok Sabha Speaker the measures needed for effective functioning of these committees with longer tenure instead of the present one year, promoting specialisation by nominating the Members for a longer period etc.

  • Emphasising the need for well thought out and focused legislation with the participation of stakeholders, he proposed a detailed framework based pre and post Legislative Impact Assessment.

  • Conceding that the present ‘First Pass the Post (FPTP)’ system of electing people’s representatives is faulty to the extent that MPs and MLAs are being elected with substantially less than 50% of voter support, he, however, said that there is no alternative at present.

  • Shri Venkaiah Naidu stated that ‘Parliamentary form of Government’is one of the features of the ‘Basic structure of the Constitution’ and is accordingly beyond the power of Parliament to be amended as per the settled position in the matter.

  • He said that the alternative of ‘Presidential form of Government’ for India is no option by virtue of the same.

  • Referring to the long-held perception about the role of caste, community, region and religion in influencing the voting preferences in the country, he stated that there is growing evidence to suggest the decline of such identity-based voting but it needs to be completely stamped out.

  • The concerns of the Opposition and the Opposition to be responsible and constructiveduring the debates and while criticising the government and opposing legislation.Frequent disruptions, Points of Order without a point, Adjournment Motions and interruptions betray political immaturity, exhibitionism, excessive fondness for the limelight and inadequate appreciation of the need to utilise the opportunity of serving the public interest.

  • Building consensus on simultaneous polls to let unfettered governance, enacting for reservation of women in legislatures, making rules that automatically take effect against erring members in case of interruptions and disruptions, regular publication of reports by the Secretariats of Legislatures on the attendance of Members and their participation in debates, doing away with the winnability as the sole criterion for selecting contestants by the parties to address the concern of rising number of legislators with criminal record.

Source: PIB




INDIA AMONG TOP NATIONS WITH MOST CONDUCIVE ENVIRONMENT FOR FINANCIAL INCLUSION

It include in GS- 3(Economic Development)


Why in news?

  • According to The Economist Intelligence Unit's 2019 Global Microscope on Financial Inclusion report, the overall environment for financial inclusion has improved globally with India, Colombia, Peru, Uruguay and Mexico having the most favourable conditions for inclusive finance.


Highlights:

  • India is placed among the top nations with the most conducive environment for financial inclusion in terms of allowing non-banks to issue e-money, proportionate customer due diligence and effective consumer protection.

  • According to The Economist Intelligence Unit’s 2019 Global Microscope on Financial Inclusion report, the overall environment for financial inclusion has improved globally with India, Colombia, Peru, Uruguay and Mexico having the most favourable conditions for inclusive finance.

  • Within the overall framework for promoting digital financial inclusion, the report identified four basic enablersallowing non-banks to issue e-money, presence of financial service agents, proportionate customer due diligence and effective financial consumer protection.

  • Only four countries – Colombia, India, Jamaica and Uruguay – scored perfectly across all four parameters. In these countries, a range of providers are capable of providing digital financial services to people on the margins of the formal financial system, regulations control for some of the risks inherent in these services, and clear rules mark out spaces appropriate for innovation to achieve greater financial inclusion.

  • South Africa, India, Mexico, Tanzania and Uruguay were among the top countries that safeguard e-money via some sort of deposit insurance or protection.

  • In India, the Reserve Bank has prepared a draft National Strategy for Financial Inclusion to deepen financial services’ coverage in the country. The long-awaited strategy is expected to be finalised in 2019 and will cover a five-year period.

  • The RBI has set up a high-level committee to review the existing status of digitisation and devise a medium-term strategy for increasing digital payments.

  • In August 2019, the RBI released the Enabling Framework for Regulatory Sandbox (RS), which creates the basis for a regulatory sandbox that will allow fintech start-ups to live-test innovative products and services.

Source: Indian Express




AFRICAN SWINE FEVER

It include in GS- 3(S&T)


Why in news?

  • About a quarter of the global pig population is expected to die as a result of an epidemic of African swine fever (ASF), according to the intergovernmental organisation responsible for coordinating animal disease control.


KEY FACTS

  • African swine fever (ASF) is a severe viral disease affecting domestic and wild pigs.

  • It is responsible for serious production and economic losses.

  • This transboundary animal disease (TAD) can be spread by live or dead pigs, domestic or wild, and pork products.

  • Furthermore, transmission can also occur via contaminated feed and fomites (non-living objects) such as shoes, clothes, vehicles, knives, equipment etc., due to the high environmental resistance of ASF virus.

  • There is no approved vaccine against ASF (unlike classical swine fever (‘Hog Cholera’) which is caused by a different virus)

  • Historically, outbreaks have been reported in Africa and parts of Europe, South America, and the Caribbean. More recently (since 2007) the disease has been reported in multiple countries across Africa, Asia and Europe, in both domestic and wild pigs.

Source: Indian Express



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