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Daily Current Affairs : 21-Nov-2019

Major Topics Covered :




  4. AGRA






Part of GS-3 Economy

Why in news:

Skills study: Over next 5 years, just 1 in 5 entrants to labour force a woman

While the NSO’s Periodic Labour Force Survey (PLFS) 2017-18 had estimated female labour force participation rate for 15 years and above at 23.3 per cent, the comparative numbers of other countries highlight the labour market’s gender skew.


  • Just one out of five persons- in the 15-30 years age bracket- entering the labour force is expected to be a female in the five years ending 2023, when India’s labour market demography is projected to peak.

  • According to an internal study conducted by the National Skills Development Corporation (NSDC), 7 crore additional individuals in the working-age (15-59 years) are expected to enter the labour force by 2023, of which 84.3 per cent or 5.9 crore will be in the age group 15-30 years.

  • While the NSO’s Periodic Labour Force Survey (PLFS) 2017-18 had estimated female labour force participation rate for 15 years and above at 23.3 per cent, the comparative numbers of other countries highlight the labour market’s gender skew.

  • 7 crore additional individuals in the working-age (15-59 years) are expected to enter the labour force by 2023, of which 84.3 % or 5.9 crore will be in the age group 15-30 years.

  • Only six states- Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka- are expected to account for 50 % (about 3 crore) of the new youth entrants (15-30 years) during 2019-23.

  • India’s female labour force participation rate ranks much lower than other Asian economies in 2019, including Vietnam (73 per cent), China (61 per cent), Singapore (60 per cent), Bangladesh (36 per cent), and is closer to the estimates in countries such as Lebanon (24 per cent), Pakistan (24 per cent), Libya (26 per cent), Tunisia (24 per cent) and Sudan (24 per cent), according to World Bank data.

Source: Indian Express


Part of GS-3 Defence And Security

Why in news:

The Supreme Court said the armed forces should consider granting permanent commission to women officers who joined forces under the Short Service Commission (SSC) before March 2019.


  • The Army had notified permanent commission to women officers, who join the forces under SSC, after March 2019.

  • The Supreme Court has now asked the Centre to grant permanent commission to women officers with retrospective effect, i.e. to those serving under SSC before March 2019.

  • In the absence of implementation of policy in retrospective effect, women officers working for several years in the armed forces are unlikely to reap the benefits.

  • The government had already rolled out a policy in February 2019 granting permanent commission in ten branches of Army- Judge Advocate General, Army Education Corps, Signals, Engineers, Army Aviation, Army Air Defence, Electronics and Mechanical Engineers, Army Service Corps, Army Ordinance Corps and Intelligence.

  • All branches in the Indian Air Force, including fighter pilots, are already opened for women officers.

  • In the Navy, SSC has been applicable in all non-sea going branches. In Naval Armament branch, women officer under SSC are eligible for grant of permanent commission.

Source : Business Standard


Part of GS-3 Economy

Why in news:

Union Finance Minister informed Lok Sabha that transfer of surplus reserves from the RBI to the government in future would depend on net income and other financial parameters of the RBI besides the recommendations of the expert committee on excess capital.


  • The surplus distribution policy of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) is determined in accordance with Section 47 of the RBI Act, 1934.

  • Section 47 says that “after making provision for bad and doubtful debts, depreciation in assets, contributions to staff and superannuation funds and for all other matters for which provision is to be made by or under this Act or which are usually provided for by bankers, the balance of the profits shall be paid to the central government".

  • The quantum of surplus transfer to the government in the coming years would depend on RBI’s net income, ‘required realised equity’ as a % of RBI’s balance sheet and ‘available realised equity’ as a % of RBI’s balance sheet in the coming years.

  • It shall be governed by the legal provisions of the RBI Act, 1934 read with the recommendations of the committee as accepted by RBI.

Source : The Hindu


Part of GS-1 History

Why in news:

The government of Uttar Pradesh may be planning to change the name of Agra to Agravan. The Department of History at the Dr Bhimrao Ambedkar University in Agra has been asked to examine whether the city was known by any other name in ancient times.


  • The move was initiated after some local people wrote a post on UP government’s Stamp and Registration website demanding to rename Agra.

  • There is no well known documented evidence that Agra was known by a different name in the past.

  • The Yogi Adityanath government in U.P. has changed the name of Allahabad to Prayagraj, of Mughalsarai Junction railway station to Pandit Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Junction, and of Faizabad district to Ayodhya.

  • Historical Backgraund:

  • The Greek astronomer, mathematician and geographer Claudius Ptolemy who lived in the 2nd century AD in the city of Alexandria in the Roman province of Egypt, is believed to be the first person to refer to the city of “Agra” in his well known work ‘Geographia’ (The Geography).

  • A UP government website says: “It is generally accepted that Agra was both an ancient city from the times of the Mahabharata and yet nevertheless Sultan Sikandar Lodi, the Muslim ruler of the Delhi Sultanate, founded Agra in the year 1504.”

  • The “golden age” of the city began with the Mughals, when it was known as Akbarabad.

  • It served as the capital of the Delhi Sultanate in the early 16th century.

  • After the decline of the Mughal Empire, the city came under the influence of the Marathas, and began to be called Agra.

  • Geography (Ptolemy):

  • The Geography is also known by its Latin names as the Geographia and the Cosmographia.

  • it is a gazetteer, an atlas, and a treatise on cartography, compiling the geographical knowledge of the 2nd-century Roman Empire.

  • It was originally written by Claudius Ptolemy in Greek at Alexandria around AD 150.

Source : Indian Express


Part of GS-2 IR

Why in news:

The United States announced that it no longer thinks Israeli settlements in the West Bank violate international law. The new US view is different from that of most countries’ on this issue.


  • The West Bank is the name given to the territory that was captured by Jordan after the 1948 Arab-Israeli War.

  • Israel snatched it back during the Six Day War of 1967, and has occupied it ever since.

  • The West Bank is a landlocked territory near the Mediterranean coast of Western Asia, bordered by Jordan to the east and by the Green Line separating it and Israel on the south, west and north.

  • The West Bank also contains a significant section of the western Dead Sea shore.

  • Israeli settlements in West Bank:

  • Israel has built formal and informal settlements in the West Bank over the last 20-25 years. Over 4 lakh Israeli settlers now live here, along with some 26 lakh Palestinians.

  • The United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), the UN Security Council (UNSC), and the International Court of Justice (ICJ) have said that the West Bank settlements are violative of the Fourth Geneva Convention.

  • Under the Fourth Geneva Convention (1949), an occupying power “shall not deport or transfer parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies”.

  • Under the Rome Statute that set up the International Criminal Court in 1998, such transfers constitute war crimes, as does the “extensive destruction and appropriation of property, not justified by military necessity and carried out unlawfully and wantonly”.

  • Under the Oslo Accords of the 1990s, both Israel and the Palestinians agreed that the status of settlements would be decided by negotiations.

  • But the negotiations process has been all but dead for several years now.

  • Most of the world’s nations look at it as occupied territory.

Source : Indian Express


Part of GS-3 Economy

Why in news:

The Economic Offences Wing (EOW) of the Mumbai Police has registered an FIR against Yash Raj Films (YRF) Pvt Ltd for alleged criminal breach of trust and failure to pay an estimated Rs 100 crore in royalty to several music composers and writers since 2012.

The FIR was registered on a complaint by the Indian Performing Right Society (IPRS).


  • The Indian Performing Right Society (IPRS) is a representative body of artists, including music owners, composers, lyricists, and publishers of music, which collects royalties due to the artists if their work is used anywhere from a wedding to a New Year function or on radio or TV.

  • The body was set up in 1969, and re-registered as a copyright society in 2017 under the amended Copyright Act, 1957.

  • The IPRS has its offices in Mumbai.

  • IPRS has both civil and criminal remedies available to it under The Copyright Act. It has filed civil suits in 20-25 cases earlier, but the move against YRF was the IPRS’s first criminal complaint.

Role in collecting royalties:

  • A 2012 amendment in The Copyright Act, 1957 laid down that artists would get 50% of royalties every time their work was used, even if the copyright remained with the production house or the music brand.

  • The IPRS is responsible for collecting the 50% royalty that is due to artists involved in “literary work accompanied to music”- meaning lyricists, music composers, and publishers of music.

Source : Indian Express


Part of GS- Award

Why in news:

The Union Minister of Jal Shakti conferred the Swachh Survekshan Grameen 2019 awards to top ranked states, union territories, and districts in the various categories on the occasion of World Toilet Day. Tamil Nadu has been ranked first among the states.


  • The Department of Drinking Water and Sanitation (DDWS) had commissioned “Swachh Survekshan Grameen-2019” (SSG 2019) through an independent survey agency to develop ranking of all districts of India on the basis of sanitation parameters.

  • This ranking was done based on parameters including surveys of public places like schools, Anganwadis, PHCs, Haat/ Bazaars, Panchayat and citizen’s perception of Swachhata and their recommendations for improvement of the program and data from the SBM-G IMIS.

  • The top ranked States and Districts which received awards are:

  • Top 3 States- 1) Tamil Nadu, 2) Haryana, 3) Gujarat

  • Top 3 Districts- 1) Peddapalli, Telangana, 2) Faridabad, Haryana, 3) Rewari, Haryana

  • State with maximum citizen participation- 1) Uttar Pradesh

  • Following are the key findings of the SSG 2019 survey:

  • 5% of people surveyed were aware of SSG 2019;

  • 3% of respondents credited SBM-G for the substantial improvement in cleanliness level;

  • 83% of respondents reported sufficient arrangements in their village to manage liquid waste

  • 1% citizens reported sufficient arrangements in their village to manage solid waste.

Source : The Hindu


Part of GS- Health

Why in news:

  • Plague has killed tens of millions of people around the world in three major pandemics, with about a third of Europe's population wiped out in the 1300s by bubonic plague, known as the Black Death.

  • A member of the plague prevention team under a local disease control and prevention centre holds rodents on a grassland in Serxu county, Garze Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, Sichuan province, China August 28, 2019.


China reported a third case of bubonic plague on 17 Nov 2019 after two other plague cases were revealed last week, but the disease remains rare despite its fearsome reputation and authorities say the cases appear unrelated.

How does the infection occur?

  • Two patients from Inner Mongolia were quarantined in Beijing suffering from pneumonic plague, authorities said last week.

  • Both types of plague are caused by the Yersinia pestis bacterium.

  • Bites from infected fleas are the most common cause of bubonic plague infection, but the pneumonic variant- where the bacterium is breathed into the lungs- is more dangerous because it is spread through coughing.

  • A rarer third variant of the diseases is septicaemic plague, which infects the bloodstream.

About Plague:


Plague is an infectious disease caused by the bacteria Yersinia pestis, a zoonotic bacteria, usually found in small mammals and their fleas.


It is transmitted between animals through fleas. Humans can be infected through:

the bite of infected vector fleass unprotected contact with infectious bodily fluids or contaminated materials the inhalation of respiratory droplets/small particles from a patient with pneumonic plague

Two main forms of plague infection, depending on the route of infection are:

  • Bubonic plague is caused by the bite of an infected flea.

  • Plague bacillus, Y. pestis, enters at the bite and travels to the nearest lymph node where it replicates itself.

The lymph node then becomes inflamed, tense and painful, and is called a ‘bubo’.

Human to human transmission of bubonic plague is rare.

Pneumonic plague, or lung-based plague, is the most virulent form of plague.

Any person with pneumonic plague may transmit the disease via droplets to other humans.

Where is plague found?

  • As an animal disease, plague is found in all continents, except Oceania.

  • Since the 1990s, most human cases have occurred in Africa.

  • The three most endemic countries are the Democratic Republic of Congo, Madagascar, and Peru.


  • Nowadays, plague is easily treated with antibiotics and the use of standard precautions to prevent acquiring infection.

  • Historically, plague was responsible for widespread pandemics with high mortality.

  • It was known as the "Black Death" during the fourteenth century, causing more than 50 million deaths in Europe.

  • Between 2010 and 2015 there were 3,248 cases worldwide, leading to 584 deaths- a fatality rate of 18%, according to the World Health Organization.

Source: Indian Express

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