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UPSC Daily Current Affairs : 20-May-2020

Topic Covered :

  1. Chinese troops resort to aggressive posturing in Ladakh, North Sikkim: Sources

  2. Govt moves to ban 27 pesticides

  3. Floating Solar Alternative

  4. India elected to WHO's decision making Executive Board, to be chair for 2020-21

  5. Philippines explores options to buy BrahMos missile from India


Why in news?

  • Tension is gradually building up between Indian and Chinese armies in several areas in Ladakh and northern Sikkim along the un-demarcated Sino-India border with both sides bringing in additional troops, days after they were involved in two violent face-offs, authoritative sources said on Tuesday. 


  • Both the Indian and Chinese armies have brought in more troops in sensitive locations like Demchok, Daulat Beg Oldie and areas around Galwan river as well as Pangong Tso lake in Ladakh.

  • The area around Galwan has been a point of friction between the two sides for over six decades. They had a showdown over it in 1962 as well. 

  • It is learnt that Chinese side has erected a sizeable number of tents in the Galwan Valley area following which India is keeping a hawk-eye vigil there. 

  • The aggressive posturing by the two sides came amid India's escalating border row with Nepal over construction of a strategically key road linking Lipulekh Pass with Dharchula in Uttarakhand. 

  • China on Tuesday said the Kalapani issue is between India and Nepal and hoped that the two neighbours would refrain from "unilateral actions" and properly resolve their disputes through friendly consultations. 

  • The India-China border dispute covers the 3,488-km-long Line of Actual Control, the de-facto border between the two countries. 

  • China claims Arunachal Pradesh as part of southern Tibet while India contests it. 

  • China has been critical of India's reorganisation of J&K, and has particularly criticised New Delhi for making Ladakh a union territory. China lays claim over several parts of Ladakh. 

Source : TOI ( https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/chinese-troops-resort-to-aggressive-posturing-in-ladakh-north-sikkim-sources/articleshow/75831131.cms )


Why in news?

  • After unleashing the agri-marketing reforms through the Atmanirbhar stimulus package, the government, in a surprise move, has proposed to ban 27 pesticides such as Carbendazim and Monocrotophos, which are widely used by the farmers across the country.


  • The draft order – called Banning of Insecticides Order 2020 – prohibits import, manufacture, sale, transport, distribution and use of such insecticides. The pesticides in the proposed list are: Acephate, Atrazine, Benfuracarb, Butachlor, Captan, Carbofuran, Chlorpyriphos, 2,4-D, Deltamethrin, Dicofol, Dimethoate, Dinocap, Diuron, Malathion, Mancozeb, Methomyl, Oxyfluorfen, Pendimethalin, Quinalphos and Sulfosulfuron.

  • The industry is baffled by the government’s move and plans to oppose the ban order. 

  • If implemented, the ban would not only hurt farmers, but also exports. The Indian pesticide industry is estimated at ₹19,000 crore, while exports are pegged at ₹21,000 crore. The list of chemicals account for about a fifth of the total industry

  • Industry sources said the timing of the notification is surprising as it has come at a time when the government is promoting ‘Make in India’ and has announced stimulus to make the country self-reliant. 

  • Also, banning these affordable chemicals would affect food security as it would lead to further increase in cost of cultivation for farmers. 

Source : Business Line ( https://www.thehindubusinessline.com/economy/agri-business/govt-moves-to-ban-27-pesticides-baffled-industry-says-it-will-oppose-the-order/article31626320.ece )


Why in news?

  • The Energy and Resource Institute (TERI) has been exploring a ‘third pillar’— floating solar photovoltaic — to b