25Th July 2018 : Daily Current Affairs - UPSC CSE/IAS and State PSC

This page contains "25Th July 2018" current affairs analysis from different newspapers and magazines like The Hindu, Indian express, PIB and Yojna.

Quality and relevance are two key features considered while writing the content, all the topics are based on the pattern of previously asked questions in exams like UPSC CSE, IAS, State PCS, SSC, Banks PO and likewise competitive exams.

Lateral entry into bureaucracy

"Outstanding individuals" are invited by the government to join the government at the joint secretary level at the Centre. The move will help in bringing the expertise from the private sector individuals to infuse talent into the country's bureaucracy.

Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) has invited application for 10 senior level positions in initial phase, the appointment will be done in the Departments of Economic Affairs, Revenue, Commerce and Highways ctc.

The plan is to fill 10 joint secretary level positions in various departments, these positions are normally filled by career bureaucrats, who join the service after passing UPSC exam.

Appropriate individuals will be appointed as joint secretary level positions in GoI, on contract basis for a period of 3-5 years.

Eligibility criteria
1) Individuals working at comparable levels in Private Sector Companies, Consultancy Organisations, International/Multinational Organisations with a minimum of 15 years of experience.
2) Individuals working in central public sector undertakings, autonomous bodies, statutory organisations, research bodies and universities.
3)Individuals applying for the postions should have a minimum age of 40 years.
4) He/She must be a graduate from a recognised university or institute while higher qualification will be an added advantage.

A report submitted by "The Sectoral Group of Secretaries (SGoS)" in February 2017 observed that there is shortage of officers at the Joint Secretary/Director/Deputy Secretary Level, due to reduction in recruitment in the service during 1995-2002.

Based on the recommendation of SGoS, the government has decided to undertake lateral recruitment of ten Joint Secretaries on contract basis in order to bringing in fresh talent as well as augmenting the availability of manpower.

Niti Ayog has also supported the idea in it's three year action agenda 2017-18 to 2019-20, highlighted that it is essential specialists be inducted into the system through lateral entry on fixed term contract.
Discuss: Lateral entry into bureaucracy

Project Varshadhare for "cloud seeding"

What is Project Varshadhare ?

Amid continuous drought from last few years and fear of another year of drought, the Karnataka State government initiated "Project Varshadhare", a ₹35-crore cloud seeding programme in 2017.

Under the project two planes sprayed sodium chloride, potassium chloride and silver iodide in the hope of condensing smaller particles into larger rain droplets, between August and September.

Due to immediate formation of clouds after seeding, the rainfall had increased by 26 per cent in these areas, US-based Weather Modification Inc told to the State government.

After evaluating the progress of "Project Varshadhare" an five-member committee has called it the most successful cloud-seeding operations in the country.

What is "cloud seeding"?

Cloud seeding is a technique of dispersing substances into the air to modify weather by altering the micro-physical processes within the cloud. The process changes the the amount and type of precipitation that falls from clouds and serve as cloud condensation or ice nuclei.

Cloud seeding includes the process of spreading either dry ice, or more commonly, silver iodide aerosols, into the upper part of clouds to try to stimulate the precipitation process and form rain.

Under the process different kinds of chemical agents, including sodium chloride, potassium chloride, silver iodide, dry ice and even table salt, are sprayed on existing clouds in an effort to thicken the clouds and increase the chance of rain or snowfall.
Discuss: Project Varshadhare for "cloud seeding"

Anti-graft amendment Bill, 2018

In a bid to curb corruption and to punish bribe-givers and bribe-takers, the Lok Sabha has recently passed the Prevention of Corruption (Amendment) Bill, 2018.

The anti-graft amendment Bill provides for jail terms of three to seven years, besides fine, to those convicted of taking or giving bribes to public officials.

According to new provisions "prior permission" has to be obtained for starting an investigation against a public official, and the ambit of public servants who will be protected by the provision of a prior government sanction for prosecution has been extended.

The will also contains safeguards to ensure that honest officers are not intimidated by false complaints, and also seeks to protect those who report the matter within seven days.

Specific provisions has been made under the bill related to giving a bribe to a public servant, and giving a bribe by a commercial organisation. Provisions related to the penalties for offences related to taking a bribe, being a habitual offender and abetting an offence are also modified.

Prevention of Corruption (Amendment) Bill, 2018 also proposes a 'shield' for government staff, including those retired, from prosecution by making it mandatory for investigating agencies like the CBI to take prior approval from competent authority before conducting any enquiry against them.

The bill also makes a distinction between "collusive bribe givers" and those who are "coerced."

In order to expedite the decision-making process the new anti-graft bill also have provisions to decided corruption cases within two years time and makes a distinction between "collusive bribe givers" and those who are "coerced."

The charitable institutions have been left out of the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988 that includes Instances of corruption and provisions to punish the guilty.
Discuss: Anti-graft amendment Bill, 2018

"Taj vision document" submitted by UP Government

In a bid to curb pollution around "Taj Mahal", UP government has handed over a vision document to the Supreme Court to declare the Taj Mahal complex a no-plastic zone.

The document took special emphasis on eco-friendly tourism hubs by prohibiting even the use of water bottles in the premises. The draft also recommended a comprehensive traffic management plan and suggests that there should be no construction on the Yamuna floodplain and the riverbank should only have natural plantations.

Taj Mahal, included in UNESCO world heritage structure was build in 1643 by Mughal emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his wife Mumtaz.

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