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Must Read Daily Newspaper Articles - 18th December, 2019

1. Packaged foods ‘breach’ salt, fat limits (CSAT-1)

Centre for Science and Environment:

Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) is a not-for-profit public interest research and advocacy organisation based in New Delhi, India. Established in 1980, CSE works as a think tank on environment-development issues in India, poor planning, climate shifts devastating India's Sundarbans and advocates for policy changes and better implementation of the already existing policies. CSE uses knowledge-based activism to create awareness about problems and propose sustainable solutions.

2. Defence ties to get push at ‘2+2’ with U.S (GS-2)

Bilateral, regional and global groupings

Enhanced defence cooperation, furthering their IndoPacific strategy, and discussions on global challenges, including U.S. policy in Iran and Afghanistan, are likely to feature at the top of the agenda as External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar and Defence Minister Rajnath Singh sit down for the second “2+2” combined ministerial meeting with their U.S. counterparts, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Secretary of Defence Mark Esper, on Wednesday

3. Govt. aims to provide broadband access to all villages by 2022 (GS-2)

Functions:

1. Provide widespread and non-discriminatory access to quality ICT services at affordable prices to people in rural and remote areas.

2. Provide an effective and powerful linkage to the hinterland thereby mainstreaming the population of rural and remote parts of the country.

3. Ensure that universal services are provided in an economically efficient manner.

4. Ensure that by developing hitherto unconnected areas, the benefits of inclusive growth are reaped by our nation, bringing in its wake rapid socio-economic development and improved standards of living.

National Broadband Mission:

It envisages an investment of ₹7 lakh crore in the next 4 years from both government and industry to connect the country digitally at a faster pace.

4. Justice for the Rohingya : (GS-2) CSAT-1

UPSC Syllabus : Right issues; Events of international importance

Last week’s preliminary hearings at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) seeking guarantees of basic protection for Myanmar’s Rohingya Muslims arguably offer only symbolic hope to this long­suffering community. Yet, the lengthy legal process at the Hague Court on the plight of thousands forcibly exiled in refugee camps in Bangladesh is key to forcing accountability on Yangon.

5. Bearing the brunt of slack laws (CSAT-1)

UPSC Syllabus : Welfare schemes for vulnerable sections of the population

6. Left to the whims of the executive (GS-2)

UPSC Syllabus : Citizenship

Who detects ‘illegal migrants’?

Second, the bedrock of this Act is that persons from certain religious identities who are fleeing religious persecution in certain countries will not to be considered “illegal migrants” under the citizenship law. Yet, neither the Act nor the 2015 notifications tell us how, by whom, and under what guidelines people’s claims to a religious identity, and to fleeing a certain religious persecution, will be determined. How then are we to know “illegal migrants” apart from persons who can rightly claim citizenship under the Act?

7. Fish in troubled waters : (GS-3)

UPSC Syllabus : Citizenship

India is endowed with 2,319 species of finfish. Studies from several parts of the country show that the diversity of freshwater fish is depleting at an alarming pace due to the invasion of commercially important and ornamental exotic fish species. Many native species, especially Indian major carps in various riverine systems, have been affected because of the invasion of exotic fish species such as Nile tilapia, African catfish, Thai pangus and common carp. Apart from commercially important exotic species, ornamental fishes such as guppy, piranha, suckermouth, blue perch, goldfish and platy have been recorded in rivers, lakes, traditional village ponds and other inland freshwater bodies. These also accelerate the extinction of natural varieties from local water bodies.

Alien species invasions: When alien species are introduced unintentionally or deliberately for whatever purpose, some of them turn invasive, and cause decline or extinction of indigenous species. The Nile perch introduced into Lake Victoria in east Africa led eventually to the extinction of an ecologically unique assemblage of more than 200 species of cichlid fish in the lake. You must be familiar with the environmental damage caused and threat posed to our native species by invasive weed species like carrot grass (Parthenium), Lantana and water hyacinth (Eicchornia).The recent illegal introduction of the African catfish Clarias gariepinus for aquaculture purposes is posing a threat to the indigenous catfishes in our rivers.

8. In pursuit of structural reforms (GS-3)

UPSC Syllabus : Economic reforms

Index of Economic Freedom: It is an annual index and ranking created in 1995 by The Heritage Foundation and The Wall Street Journal to measure the degree of economic freedom in the world's nations.

Second, the bedrock of this Act is that persons from certain religious identities who are fleeing religious persecution in certain countries will not to be considered “illegal migrants” under the citizenship law. Yet, neither the Act nor the 2015 notifications tell us how, by whom, and under what guidelines people’s claims to a religious identity, and to fleeing a certain religious persecution, will be determined. How then are we to know “illegal migrants” apart from persons who can rightly claim citizenship under the Act?

9. Telecom body defers zero IUC by a year (CSAT-1)

What is IUC?

Interconnect Usage Charge or IUC is a cost paid by one mobile telecom operator to another, when its customers make outgoing mobile calls to the other operator’s customers. These calls between two different networks are known as mobile off-net calls. IUC charges are fixed by Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) and are currently at 6 paise / minute.

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