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Daily Current Affairs : 3-Jan-2020

Major Topics Covered :

  1. RESTRUCTURING OF RAILWAYS

  2. NORTHEAST (WINTER) MONSOON

  3. LORD CURZON

  4. HELPLINE NUMBER “139”

  5. MICHELIN STARS

  6. ‘PARIKSHA PE CHARCHA’

  7. GREATER ADJUTANT

  8. TIGER DEATHS

  9. INDIAN SCIENCE CONGRESS ASSOCIATION (ISCA)

  10. SWARNA JAYANTI FELLOWSHIPS



RESTRUCTURING OF RAILWAYS

Part of GS-3Economy


Why in news?

  • The Cabinet recently approved trimming of the Railway Board, the powerful body that governs the Indian Railways. From nine, the Board will now have only five Members.


Highlights:

  • The Cabinet also decided to merge all central service cadres of Railways officers into a single Indian Railways Management Service (IRMS).

  • Now, any eligible officer could occupy any post, including Board Member posts, irrespective of training and specialisation, since they will all belong to IRMS.

  • The five members of the Board, other than a Chairman-cum-CEO, will now be the Members Infrastructure, Finance, Rolling Stock, Track, and Operations and Business Development.

  • The Board will also have independent Members, who will be industry experts with at least 30 years of experience, but in non-executive roles, only attending Board meetings.

  • The move has led to protests from serving civil servants, prompting the Railway Board to reach out to them to allay their concerns.


What is the present system like?

  • The Indian Railways is governed by a pool of officers, among whom engineers are recruited after the Indian Engineering Service Examination, and civil servants through the Civil Services Examination.

  • The civil servants are in the Indian Railway Traffic Service (IRTS), Indian Railway Accounts Service (IRAS) and Indian Railway Personnel Service (IRPS).

  • The engineers are in five technical service cadres — Indian Railway Service of Engineers (IRSE), Indian Railway Service of Mechanical Engineers (IRSME), Indian Railway Service of Electrical Engineers (IRSEE), Indian Railway Service of Signal Engineers (IRSSE) and the Indian Railway Stores Service (IRSS).

  • Until the 1950s, the Railways system was run by officers from just three main streams: Traffic, Civil Engineering, and Mechanical.

  • The other streams emerged as separate services over time.


Why was the reform needed?

  • The government wants to end inter-departmental rivalries, which it says have been hindering growth for decades.

  • Several committees including the Bibek Debroy committee in 2015 have noted that “departmentalism” is a major problem in the system.

  • Most committees have said merger of the services in some form would be a solution.


Source: Indian express


NORTHEAST (WINTER) MONSOON

Part of GS-1 Geography


Why in news?

  • The IMD says India has just finished a satisfactory northeast monsoon. The northeast, or winter, monsoon has ended on a high, with an overall surplus rainfall being recorded for the season.


Highlights:

  • The India Meteorological Department (IMD) recognises October to December as the time for the northeast monsoon.

  • The year that just went by witnessed the rare meteorological coincidence of the northeast (winter) monsoon making its onset on the same day as the southwest monsoon withdrew officially. The two events rarely happen simultaneously.

  • The northeast monsoon does not have anything to do with India’s Northeast, even though a part of the system does originate from the area above it.

  • Rather, it derives its name from the direction in which it travels — from the northeast to the southwest.

  • The northeast monsoon brings rain to just five of the 36 meteorological divisions in the country — Tamil Nadu (which includes Puducherry), Kerala, Coastal Andhra Pradesh, Rayalaseema and South Interior Karnataka.

  • This season contributes only 11 per cent to India’s annual rainfall of 1,187 mm, compared to about 75 per cent in the summer monsoon season (the remaining rain comes in other non-monsoon months).


Source : Indian Express


LORD CURZON

Part of GS-1History


Why in news?

  • West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar drew widespread condemnation over his tweet referring to a table, apparently used by Lord Curzon to sign papers pertaining to the Partition of Bengal in 1905, as “iconic”.


Highlights:

  • Lord Curzon, India’s Viceroy between 1899 and 1905, was one of the most controversial and consequential holders of that post.

  • Born in 1859 into British nobility, Curzon was educated at the elite Eton College school and attended Oxford.

  • In 1891, he became Under-Secretary of State for India (the deputy minister in the British cabinet responsible for India).

  • He became the youngest Viceroy of India in 1899 at age 39, and remained in office until his resignation in 1905.

  • The partition of the undivided Bengal Presidency in 1905 was one of Curzon’s most criticised moves, which triggered widespread opposition not only in Bengal but across India, and gave impetus to the freedom movement.

  • Curzon, in 1901, had famously said, “As long as we rule India we are the greatest power in the world. If we lose it, we shall drop straightaway to a third-rate power.”


Source : Indian Express


HELPLINE NUMBER “139”