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Wednesday, January 23, 2019

List of important Lines And Boundaries

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Important Lines and Boundaries

  • Marginal Line : 320 km line of fortification on the Russia-Finland border
  • Line of Actual Control : India  & China on the Northern Border
  • Line of Control : India and Pakistan
  • Durand Line : Afghanistan and Pakistan
  • Radcliffe Line : India and Pakistan (its includes Bangladesh Line)
  • Blue Line : Isreal & Lebanon
  • Purple Line : Israel and Syria
  • Green Line : Israel and its neighbours (Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria)
  • Mason–Dixon line : Maryland and Pennsylvania/Delaware in Colonial America
  • Curzon Line : Poland & Russia
  • Military Demarcation Line (MDL) or Armistice Line : North Korea and South Korea
  • McMohan Line : India & China
  • Maginot Line : France & Germany
  • Mannar haime line : Russia & Finland
  • Order Neisse Line : Germany & Poland (aftermath of World War II)
  • Hindenburg Line : Poland & Germany (at the time of First World War)
  •  Sigfried Line East : France & Germany (at the time of second world war)
  • 16 Parallel North : Angola and Namibia
  • 17th Parallel Line : North & South Vietnam
  • 20 Parallel North : Libya & Sudan
  • 22 Parallel North : Egypt & Sudan
  • 25 Parallel North : Mauritania & Mali
  • 26 Parallel North : Western Sahara & Mauritania
  • 31 Parallel North : Iraq & Iran
  • 35 Parallel North : US it serves as border b/w Tennessee/Mississippi, Tennnessee/Alabama, Tennesse/Georgia, North Carolina/Georgia
  • 36 Parallel North : In the US it Forms forms the southernmost boundary of the state of Missouri with the state of Arkansas
  • 38 Parallel North Line : North  & South Korea
  • 40 Parallel North : US it serves as border b/w Nebraska & Kansas
  • 41 Parallel North : US it forms the border b/w wyoming/utah border, Wyoming/colorado, Nebraska/Colorado.
  • 42 Parallel North : US it serves as border of new york & Pennsylvania Border
  • 43 Parallel North : US it serves as border of b/w State Nebraska & state of south Dakota
  • 45 Parallel North : US it forms the boundary b/w Montana & wyoming
  • 49 Parallel North (Medicine Line) : USA & Canada

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The HINDU Notes – 23rd January 2019

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📰 ILO urges universal labour guarantee

Warns of destructive repercussions, uncertainty without decisive actions

•As heads of State and business leaders gather in Davos for the World Economic Forum this week, the UN agency that sets international labour standards is asking them to commit to a universal labour guarantee, universal social protection from birth to old age, an international governance system for the gig economy, and a human-in-command approach to artificial intelligence.

•In a report on the ‘Future of Work’, released in Geneva on Tuesday to mark its centenary, the International Labour Organisation (ILO) warned that “without decisive action we will be sleepwalking into a world that widens inequality, increases uncertainty and reinforces exclusion, with destructive political, social and economic repercussions.”

•Around the world, 190 million people are unemployed, while 300 million workers live in extreme poverty, according to the ILO. Wage gaps are growing at a time of declining wage growth.

•Two-thirds of jobs in the developing world are susceptible to automation, and only 15% of households in emerging countries have Internet access. Implementing the Paris Climate Agenda could create 24 million new jobs, but it could still be brutal to the 6 million workers expected to lose their jobs in the transition to a greener economy.

•In such a situation, the ILO asked all countries to “place people at the centre of economic and social policy”, ensuring that final decisions are taken by human beings.

•It suggested that an international governance system be set up to police the gig economy, and ensure that ‘digital labour platforms’ such as Uber and Swiggy respect certain minimum rights and protections.

•To reduce inequalities, the ILO recommends that “the development of the rural economy, where the future of many the world’s workers lies, should become a priority”.

•Urging a universal labour guarantee to ensure a living wage, the ILO sought limits on working hours and work safety norms. In its report the labour organisation observes that “the future of work requires a strong and responsive social protection system based on the principles of solidarity and risk sharing, which supports people’s needs over the life cycle”. In order to cope with change, it suggests that countries commit to a universal entitlement to lifelong learning, which would help people reskill and upskill.

•The report is the result of a 15-month review by a 27-member commission co-chaired by the South African president Cyril Ramaphosa and the Swedish prime minister Stefan Löfven. Indians on the commission included Reema Nanavaty, who leads the Self Employed Women’s Association (SEWA), and Alwyn Didar Singh, former Secretary General of the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) and a retired Secretary to the Government of India.

📰 China carries out overhaul of military

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RRB ALP Previous Year Cut Off Details

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RRB ALP Previous Year Cut Off : RRC cut off

RRC NR (Delhi) Group D Cut Off 2013-14:
Cut-Off Marks for Calling Candidates, On Provisional Basis, for Document Verification and Medical
Cut-Off Marks for Calling PH Candidates, On Provisional Basis, for D/Verification & M/Examination.
Cut-Off Marks for Calling Candidates, On Provisional Basis, for PET.
Cut-Off Marks for Calling PH Candidates, On Provisional Basis, for D/Verification & M/Examination.
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Tuesday, January 22, 2019

History MCQ Repository For IAS 2019

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History : Practice Quiz For Civil Service Examinations

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Daily Current Affairs, 22nd January 2019

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1) Andry Rajoelina Sworn In As Madagascar President
•Madagascar president, Andry Rajoelina, has sworn into office after taking the oath in Antananarivo before nine judges of the High Constitutional Court. He won nearly 56% to defeat another former president, Marc Ravalomanana.

2) India Among The Most Trusted Nations Globally: Report
•India is among the most trusted nations globally when it comes to government, business, NGOs and media. The 2019 Edelman Trust Barometer report, noted that the Global Trust Index witnessed a marginal increase of 3 points to 52. China topped the Trust Index among both the informed public and the general population segments.

•India was at the 2nd place in the informed public category and 3rd place in the general population category. The findings are based on an online survey in 27 markets covering over 33,000 respondents. In terms of trust in companies headquartered in each market, the most trusted are those from Switzerland, Germany, and Canada.

3) India Signs MoU With Sri Lanka to Modernize Facilities At Vipulananda Institute of Aesthetic Studies in Batticaloa
•India and Sri Lanka signed an MoU to provide modern infrastructural facilities to Swami Vipulananda Institute of Aesthetic Studies of Eastern University in Batticaloa district of Sri Lanka.

•The project involves refurbishment of the auditorium and construction of a modern building complex with recording cum editing facilities and supply vehicles to the institute through a grant of over 27 crore Sri Lankan rupees from the Government of India.

4) China’s Economy Grew At 6.6% In 2018, Slowest Rate In 3 Decades
•China’s economy grew at 6.6% in 2018, its slowest rate in almost 3 decades. The world’s 2nd biggest economy was grappling with the effects of the current trade war with the US and declining exports.

•In the 3 months to December, the economy grew 6.4% from a year earlier, down from 6.5 % in the previous quarter. China’s National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) stated that last year’s growth rate was down from 6.8% in 2017 and was the lowest since 1990 when the growth rate was 3.9%.

5) Microsoft Launches e-Commerce Platform for Handloom Weavers
•Microsoft India has launched a new e-commerce platform for handloom weavers under its Project ReWeave, part of its philanthropic initiatives. This e-commerce platform will help connect artisans to buyers directly, enabling them to expand to newer customers and markets.

•The new e-commerce website hosts signature collections created by weaver communities and showcases traditional designs and products created from natural dyes. Project ReWeave aims to help weavers with working capital support through non-profit organizations.

6) 2018 ICC Awards: Virat Kohli Takes 3 Major Honours
•Virat Kohli has become the first player in history to win the Sir Garfield Sobers Trophy for ICC Cricketer of the Year, the ICC Men’s Test Player of the Year and the ICC ODI Player of the Year awards following an extraordinary 2018.

•The International Cricket Council also announced the men’s Test and ODI teams of the year with Virat Kohli named captain of both sides. Kohli’s 1,322 runs at an average of 55.08 with five centuries in 13 Tests and 1,202 runs at an astounding average of 133.55 with six hundreds in 14 ODIs saw him selected to both sides by every voting member of the Academy with the majority of them also opting to name him at the helm of each.

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The HINDU Notes – 22nd January 2019

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📰 Centre proposes to hike monthly pensions for the elderly poor, disabled and widows

Plan likely to be part of interim Budget

•Ahead of the 2019 election, the Rural Development Ministry has proposed that the monthly pensions of the elderly poor, disabled and widows be increased from the current ₹200 to ₹800. For those above the age of 80, the proposal is to increase the pension from ₹500 to ₹1,200 a month.

•The Ministry has submitted the proposal, which would have an additional annual cost implication of ₹18,000 crore, to the Finance Ministry to be considered for inclusion in the interim Budget to be presented on February 1.

•“The proposal is being scrutinised for the possibility of inclusion in the Budget speech,” said a senior official of the Rural Development Ministry, which administers the National Social Assistance Programme (NSAP).

•If the proposal is announced, the Ministry will then move the Cabinet to approve the increase in pensions, said the official.

•Separately, a study has been launched to consider doubling the number of people covered by the scheme, a promise originally made in last year’s Budget.

•Discussions are also being held with the State governments on a proposal to merge the Central and State pension schemes. The BJP’s defeat in the recent Assembly elections has forced the Centre to consider sops for rural India.

•The Centre has been considering various welfare measures to benefit rural Indians and farming communities before the Lok Sabha election. Senior government officials have mentioned income support, interest waivers and increased access to credit as some of the other measures being considered.

•The NSAP is a Centrally Sponsored Scheme with an annual budget of ₹9975 crore. It currently covers more than three crore people who are below the poverty line (BPL), including about 80 lakh widows, 10 lakh disabled and 2.2 crore elderly. Those who are older than 80 years are paid ₹500 per month, while the rest are given ₹200 per month. These amounts have not been revised since 2007. State governments add their own contribution, ranging from less than ₹500 to ₹2000 per month.

•“The scheme will need a total budget of ₹30,000 crore in order to increase the pension amounts to ₹800 and ₹1200,” said the Ministry official.

•In his last budget speech in February 2018, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had said that the government “is implementing a comprehensive social security and protection programme to reach every household of old, widows, orphaned children, divyaang and deprived as per the Socio Economic Caste Census (SECC).”

•If SECC data was used to determine the number of people covered under the scheme instead of the current BPL criteria, coverage would double to about six crore people. Despite that, Mr. Jaitley said allocation for the scheme would be unchanged. Without additional funds, there has been no concrete move towards using SECC data.

•However, prodded by a Public Interest Litigation petition filed in the Supreme Court demanding universal pension coverage and higher pensions, the Rural Development Ministry decided to commission a comprehensive study to evaluate State and Central schemes before proposing a revamp of the system. That study is likely to be completed by the end of June, said the Ministry official.

•“There is a possibility of merging State and Central schemes to increase coverage. The evaluation study will allow us to take an informed decision. But we will have to decide a new cost-sharing ratio [between Centre and States],” said the official, adding that initial discussions with State governments had been held on January 16. Several States, including Rajasthan, Telangana, Bihar and Uttar Pradesh, have already shifted to SECC data for their own pension schemes.

•In its December 13 order on the PIL, the SC had said: “It is high time that the Government of India has a relook at these schemes and perhaps overhaul them with a view to bring about convergence and avoid multiplicity. In particular, the Government of India and the State Governments must revisit the grant of pension to the elderly so that it is more realistic. Of course, this would depend upon the availability of finances and the economic capacity of the Government of India and the State Governments.”

📰 The ambiguity of reservations for the poor

While the constitutional amendment may survive the ‘basic structure’ test, the hardest test will be its implementation

•The 103rd Constitution Amendment Act introducing special measures and reservations for ‘economically weaker sections’ (EWS) has been perceived as being obviously unconstitutional. This article is sceptical of such a reading and takes the view that a constitutional challenge to the amendment will take us into unclear constitutional territories. The strongest constitutional challenge might not be to the amendment itself but to the manner in which governments implement it. There is no foregone conclusion to a potential challenge and we would do well to start identifying the core constitutional questions that arise. To be clear, I am here concerned only with questions that arise within constitutional law.

Special measures

•Article 15 stands amended enabling the state to take special measures (not limited to reservations) in favour of EWS generally with an explicit sub-article on admissions to educational institutions with maximum 10% reservations. The amendment to Article 16 allows 10% reservations (and not special measures) for EWS in public employment and does so in a manner that is different from reservations for Scheduled Caste/Scheduled Tribes and Other Backward Classes. The amendment leaves the definition of ‘economically weaker sections’ to be determined by the state on the basis of ‘family income’ and other economic indicators. Also critical to this amendment is the exclusion of SC/STs, OBCs and other beneficiary groups under Articles 15(4), 15(5) and 16(4) as beneficiaries of the 10% EWS reservation.

•A good point to start the consitutional examination is the Supreme Court’s view on reservations based purely on economic criteria. Eight of the nine judges in Indra Sawhney (November 1992) held that the Narasimha Rao government’s executive order (and not a constitutional amendment) providing for 10% reservations based purely on economic criteria was unconstitutional. Their reasons included the position that income/property holdings cannot be the basis for exclusion from government jobs, and that the Constitution was primarily concerned with addressing social backwardness.

Basic structure doctrine

•However, the decision in Indra Sawhney involved testing an executive order against existing constitutional provisions. In the current situation, we are concerned with a constitutional amendment brought into force using the constituent power of Parliament. The fact that we are not concerned with legislative or executive power means that the amendment will be tested against the ‘basic structure’ and not the constitutional provisions existing before the amendment. The pointed question is whether measures based purely on economic criteria violate the ‘basic structure’ of the Constitution? I do not think it is a sufficient answer to say that ‘backwardness’ in the Constitution can only mean ‘social and educational backwardness’. Citing the Constituent Assembly debates is not going to take the discussion much further either. It is difficult to see an argument that measures purely on economic criteria are per se violative of the ‘basic structure’. We can have our views on whether such EWS reservations will alleviate poverty (and they most certainly will not), but that is not really the nature of ‘basic structure’ enquiry. Providing a justification for these measures as furthering the spirit of substantive equality within the Indian Constitution is not very difficult.

•Economic criteria (if seen as poverty) forms the basis for differential treatment by the state in many ways and it would be a stretch to suddenly see it as constitutionally suspect when it comes to ‘special measures’ and reservations in education and public employment. Poverty inflicts serious disadvantages and the prerogative of the state to use special measures/ reservations as one of the means to address it (however misplaced it might be as a policy) is unlikely to fall foul of the ‘basic structure’ doctrine.

•A challenge to the amendment may lie in the context of Article 16 by virtue of shifting the manner in which reservations can be provided in public employment. Under Article 16(4), reservations for backward classes (SC/STs, OBCs) are dependent on beneficiary groups not being ‘adequately represented’ but that has been omitted in the newly inserted Article 16(6) for EWS. The amendment through Article 16(6) ends up making it easier for the state to provide reservations in public employment for EWS than the requirements to provide reservations for ‘backward classes’ under Article 16(4). In a sense that is potentially a normative minefield for the Supreme Court. On the one hand, it is confronted with the reality that ‘backward classes’ like SC/STs and OBCs are disadvantaged along multiple axes and on the other, it is now far more difficult for the state to provide reservations to these groups compared to the EWS. The response might well be that ‘representation’ is not the aim of EWS reservation and questions of ‘adequacy’ are relevant only in the context of representation claims like those of the backward classes under Article 16(4).

Questions and challenges

•In many of the responses to the amendment, breaching the 50% ceiling on reservations has been cited as its greatest weakness. It is hard to see the merit of that argument because the amendment by itself does not push the reservations beyond 50%. While it might be a ground to challenge the subsequent legislative/executive actions, the amendment itself is secure from this challenge. But even beyond this narrow technical response, the 50% ceiling argument is far from clear. In Indra Sawhney, the majority of judges held that the 50% ceiling must be the general rule and a higher proportion may be possible in ‘extraordinary situations’. Fundamentally this argument stems from an unresolved normative tension in Indra Sawhney. While committing to the constitutional position that reservations are not an ‘exception’ but a ‘facet’ of equality, the majority in Indra Sawhney also invokes the idea of balancing the equality of opportunity of backward classes ‘against’ the right to equality of everyone else. When governments implement the EWS reservations and push quotas beyond 50%, the Supreme Court will be forced to confront this normative tension. If reservations further equality, what then are the justifications to limit it to 50% when the identified beneficiaries constitute significantly more than 50%? The answer to that question might lie in Indra Sawhney’s position that the constitutional imagination is not one of ‘proportional representation’ but one of ‘adequate representation’. However, as discussed above, if abandoning the ‘adequacy’ requirement per se is upheld for EWS reservations, the basis for a 50% ceiling becomes unclear.

•While the constitutional amendment by itself might survive the ‘basic structure’ test, the hardest test for governments will be the manner in which they give effect to the amendment. The definition of ‘economically weaker sections’ will be a major hurdle because the political temptation will be to go as broad as possible and include large sections of citizens. But broader the definition, greater will be the constitutional risk. For example, if beneficiaries are defined as all those with family income of less than ₹8 lakh per annum, it must necessarily fail constitutional scrutiny. To justify that an individual ‘below poverty line’ and another with a family income of ₹8 lakh per annum belong to the same group for purposes of affirmative action will involve constitutional jugglery at an unprecedented level. But then, the history of our constitutional jurisprudence has prepared us well for such surprises.

📰 Summit 2.0: the second Trump-Kim meeting

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