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Daily PIB Analysis For UPSC/IAS | Download PDF

Date: 02 April 2019

  • WMO Statement on the State of the Global Climate
  • Every year, WMO issues a Statement on the State of the Global Climate based on data provided by National Meteorological and Hydrological Services (NMHSs) and other national and international organizations.

2018 is on course to be the fourth warmest year on record.

  • This means that the past four years—2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018—taken together are the four warmest years on record. In contrast to the other top warmest years, 2018 began with La Niña conditions, which are typically associated with lower global temperatures.
  • Mean Global Mean Sea Level for the period from January to July 2018 has been 2 to 3 mm higher than for the equivalent period in 2017.

  • Antarctic sea-ice extent was also well below average throughout 2018.
  • The annual minimum extent occurred in late February and the monthly average was 2.28 million square km, 33% below average and ranked record low in the C3S dataset and 2nd lowest in the NSDIC data. For the months February through August, the monthly extent ranked among the ten smallest on record. The Antarctic seaice extent reached its annual maximum extent in late-September and earlyOctober. The September monthly average extent was 17.82 million square km, 4% below average and ranked within the 5th smallest.
  • The Chairman of the Fifteenth Finance Commission N K Singh has pitched for a fiscal council to enforce fiscal rules and better manage public debt
  • For state government liabilities, Article 293 (3) provides a constitutional check over borrowings. But there are no such restrictions on the Centre Hence there is a need for an alternative institutional mechanism like Fiscal Council to enforce fiscal rules and keep a check on Centre’s fiscal consolidation.
  • An institutional mechanism for sound fiscal practices will bring in transparency, instill confidence among domestic and foreign investors and improve policy outcomes.
  • An institutional mechanism will also prevent practices such as accounting jugglery to show the Centre’s finances in better shape, undermining the sanctity of the budget numbers.
  • Even the CAG has underscored the need for proper disclosures, saying that budgets often understate fiscal deficits by misusing accounting loopholes....
  • Air Marshal NJS Dhillon has taken charge as the new Commander-in-Chief of the Strategic Forces Command (SFC), which looks after nuclear arsenal of the country. He succeeds Air Marshal J S Walia.
  • The responsibility of the SFC is to operationalize the directives of the Nuclear Command Authority (NCA).
  • It is responsible for initiating the process of delivering nuclear weapons and warheads after acquiring explicit approval from the NCA.
  • The Nuclear Command Authority (NCA) of India is the authority responsible for command, control and operational decisions regarding India's nuclear weapons programme
  • India's first Nuclear test was conducted on 18 May 1974 with the code name Smiling Buddha. Since then India has conducted another series of tests at the Pokhran test range in the state of Rajasthan in 1998, which included a thermonuclear test, code named Operation Shakti.
  • India has an extensive civil and military nuclear program, which includes at least 10 nuclear reactors, uranium mining and milling sites, heavy water production facilities, a uranium enrichment plant, fuel fabrication facilities, and extensive nuclear research capabilities.
  • The Strategic Forces Command (SFC), sometimes called Strategic Nuclear Command, forms part of India's Nuclear Command Authority (NCA).
  • It is responsible for the management and administration of the country's tactical and strategic nuclear weapons stockpile.
  • It was created on January 4, 2003 by the Vajpayee Government.
  • Air Marshal Teja Mohan Asthana became its first commander-in-chief

  • Though India has not made any official statements about the size of its nuclear arsenal, different country estimates indicate that India has anywhere between 150 and 300 nuclear weapons.
  • On January 4, 2003, the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) constituted the Political Council and the Executive Council of the NCA. The Executive Council gives its opinion to the Political Council, which authorises a nuclear attack when deemed necessary.
  • While the Executive Council is chaired by the National Security Advisor (NSA),
  • The Political Council is chaired by the Prime Minister.
  • This mechanism was implemented to ensure that Indian nukes remain firmly in civilian control and that there exists a sophisticated Command and Control (C2) mechanism to prevent their accidental or unauthorised use

India finish with 16 gold medals at Asian Airgun Championships

  • Indian shooters continued their dominance claiming five gold medals on the final day of the Asian Airgun Championships to sign off with a total of 25 medals in Taoyuan, Taipei.
  • India finished with 16 gold, five silver and four bronze medals.
  • The next assignment for Indian shooters is scheduled at Al Ain, the United Arab Emirates where the International Shooting Sport Federation Shotgun World Cup stage two commences on Friday.