UPSC Prelims 2019/ 2020 daily current affairs | The Hindu broken into 4 liners | Today : 16/03/2019.



WHAT IS THE ISSUE : The EC guideline violates earlier laws by making VVPAT “completely ineffective and merely ornamental in nature,”

EARLIER REFERENCE : Dr. Subramanian Swamy case in 2013.

WHAT WAS HELD : The paper trail for EVM was an indispensable requirement of free and fair elections.

THUS WHAT WAS URGED : They argued that the ruling had made the VVPAT an inherent and intrinsic part of the very basic structure.

WHAT IS VVPAT ? Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) machines.

WHAT ID DOES ? They are used during election process to verify that the vote polled by a voter goes to the correct candidate.

WHY VVPAT ? VVPATs are a second line of verification particularly and are particularly useful in the time when allegations around Electronic Voting Machines' tampering crop up.

HOW THIS WORKS ? After a voter presses the button on the EVM against the chosen candidate, the VVPAT prints a slip containing name of the candidate and the election symbol and drops it automatically into a sealed box.

USE : The machines give the chance for the voter to verify their vote.

MECHANISM : The machine is placed in a glass case in a way that only the voter can see it. The slip is displayed to the voter for seven seconds after which the VVPAT machine cuts it and drops in into the storage box with a beep.



CORE CONCEPT : India must recognise the human cost of poorly enforced environment laws

WHY ARE WE TALKING THIS NOW ? The sixth edition of the Global Environment Outlook from the UN Environment Programme warned : the world is unsustainably extracting resources and producing unmanageable quantities of waste.

ANOTHER POINT : The UN report, GEO-6, on the theme “Healthy Planet, Healthy People,” has some sharp pointers for India. It notes that East and South Asia have the highest number of deaths due to air pollution.

SHOCKING : By one estimate, it killed about 1.24 million in India in 2017.

WHAT IS INDIA FACING NOW ? The task before India is to recognise the human cost of poorly enforced environment laws and demonstrate the political will necessary to end business-as-usual policies.

REMEDY : It is to shift to cleaner sources of energy.


· It is significant that GEO-6 estimates that the top 10% of populations globally, in terms of wealth, are responsible for 45% of GHG emissions, and the bottom 50% for only 13%.

· THUS ! Pollution impacts are, however, borne more by the poorer citizens.


· Combating air pollution would, therefore, require all older coal-based power plants in India to conform to emission norms at the earliest, or to be shut down in favour of renewable energy sources.

· Transport emissions are a growing source of urban pollution, and a quick transition to green mobility is needed.

· In the case of water, the imperative is to stop the contamination of surface supplies by chemicals, sewage and municipal waste.

· As the leading extractor of groundwater, India needs to make water part of a circular economy in which it is treated as a resource that is recovered, treated and reused.

· But water protection gets low priority, and State governments show no urgency in augmenting rainwater harvesting. New storage areas act as a supply source when monsoons fail, and help manage floods when there is excess rainfall.


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