Daily Current Affairs : 3rd July

Daily Current Affairs for UPSC CSE

Topics Covered

  1. Relisting OBC’s in Scheduled Caste List
  2. Impact of Global Warming on Jobs
  3. Enriched Uranium
  4. Lithium ion Giga factory
  5. International Whaling commission
  6. National Defense Authorisation Act
  7. Facts for Prelims : Mole on Mars

1 . Relisting OBC’s in Scheduled Caste List

Context : The Uttar Pradesh government’s move to relist 17 OBCs in the Schedules Caste list is unconstitutional and it is a transgression of Parliament’s jurisdiction as per the Union Minister


  • Before the independence British government incorporated the reservation for the “Depressed Classes” into the GOI Act of 1935 on the basis of census conducted in 1931
  • This “Depressed class” later came to be known as the Scheduled Caste.
  • Scheduled Tribe were the ‘tribes or communities’ who were isolated from the rest of the communities and wouldn’t abide to any religion. The British government in 1935 identified ‘Schedule of Tribes’ which consisted of different types of indigenous tribal groups i.e. Denotified tribes, criminal tribes, forest dwellers etc.
  • By 1937 both the section were given positive affirmative action rights and political representation. After India got its independence, the Constitution continued the affirmative action for the ‘depressed class’ which were now termed as ‘Scheduled Caste’ and ‘Scheduled Tribe’.

Constitutional Provisions

  • Under article 341(1), the President of India, after consultation with the Governor, may specify, “the castes, races, tribes or parts of groups within castes or races, which shall be deemed to be Scheduled Castes”.
  • Accordingly, the President has notified the Scheduled Castes in the order called ‘Constitution (Scheduled Castes) Order-1950’ and the ‘Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes List (Modification) Order-1956.
  • Under article 341(2), the Parliament of India by law can include or exclude the above-mentioned groups from the list of the Scheduled Castes.

Presidential Order of 1950

  • The order was called as the Constitution (Scheduled Castes) Order, 1950. The complete list of castes and tribes was made on order of 1950 which had certain norms and criteria for inclusion of other community later.
  • Part 3 of the Presidential order of 1950 states that “no person who professes a religion different from the Hindu [the Sikh or the Buddhist] religion shall be deemed to be a member of a Scheduled Caste.” This clearly lays down a religious barrier which states that any person who is not a Hindu, Buddhist or a Sikh, will not be entitled to reservation on the basis of being a Scheduled Caste.

Criteria for Inclusion

Scheduled Castes(SCs)

Extreme social, educational and economic backwardness arising out of traditional practice of untouchability.

Scheduled Tribes(STs)

Indication of primitive traits, distinctive culture, geographical isolation, shyness of contact with community at large and backwardness.

Other Backward Classes (OBCs)

Social, educational, economic backwardness and inadequate representation in the Central Government posts and services.


  • SCs and STs are specified under the provisions of Articles 341 & 342 of the Constitution of India respectively.
  • Government has laid down Modalities for processing of modifications in the lists of SCs and STs. The Modalities envisage that only such proposals of the concerned State Governments/ Union Territory Administrations, which have been agreed to by the Registrar General of India (RGI) and National Commission for Scheduled Castes (NCSC), in the case of SCs, and RGI & National Commission for Scheduled Tribes (NCST) in the case of STs, are further processed in accordance with provisions of clause (2) of Articles 341 and 342 respectively.
  • Inclusion of communities/ castes in the Central List of OBCs is done on the advice of National Commission for Backward Classes (NCBC) as envisaged in Section (9) of NCBC Act, 1993.
  • Any amendment in the list of Scheduled Castes can be made only by an Act of Parliament, in view of clause (2) of Article 341 of Constitution of India

2 . Impact of Global Warming on Jobs

Context : By 2030, India is expected to lose an equivalent of 34 million jobs as a result of global warming, says a report released by the International Labour Organisation.

About the Report

  • The report, ‘Working on a warmer planet: The impact of heat stress on labour productivity and decent work’ anticipates an increase in “heat stress” resulting from global warming. It projects global productivity losses equivalent to 80 million full-time jobs in 2030, and the projection of 34 million jobs would make India the worst affected.
  • The report defines heat stress as heat in excess of what the body can tolerate without suffering physiological impairment. It generally occurs at temperatures above 35°C, in high humidity. Excess heat during work is an occupational health risk and restricts workers’ physical functions and capabilities, work capacity and thus, productivity.
  • The report makes its projections based on a global temperature rise of 1.5°C by the end of the century, and also on labour force trends.
  • These projections “suggest that in 2030, 2.2 per cent of total working hours worldwide will be lost because of higher temperatures, a loss equivalent to 80 million full-time jobs.
  • Globally, the two sectors projected to be hit worst are agriculture and construction, with agriculture worse affected.
  • The ILO says 940 million people around the world work in the agricultural sector, which is projected to account for 60% of working hours lost due to heat stress by 2030. In construction, an estimated 19% of global working hours is likely to be lost.

Projections Regarding India

  • India, which lost 4.3% of working hours in 1995 because of heat stress, is projected to lose 5.8% of its working hours in 2030, which corresponds to 34 million jobs.
  • The report projects losses in working hours as 9.04% in agriculture (in shade), 5.29% in manufacturing, 9.04% in construction, and 1.48% in services. “Although most of the impact in India will be felt in the agricultural sector, more and more working hours are expected to be lost in the construction sector, where heat stress affects both male and female workers

3 . Enriched Uranium

Context : Under the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, Iran is required to ensure that, for the next 15 years, its stockpile of uranium is not enriched beyond 3.67%. Further, this stockpile of 3.67% enriched uranium itself is not supposed to exceed 300 kg. It is this 300-kg limit that Iran has now said it has exceeded. However, it has not specified how much more low-enriched uranium it has created. Iran has also said that its next step would be to enrich uranium beyond the 3.67% limit.

About Enriched Uranium

  • Uranium is the most common fuel used in nuclear reactors, and is required for nuclear electricity generation as well as to make nuclear weapons.
  • Naturally occurring uranium, which is predominantly composed of a stabler isotope, uranium-238, is not fissionable, meaning its nucleus cannot be split in a way that can sustain a chain reaction.
  • To be used in nuclear reactors, natural uranium has to be ‘enriched’ with uranium-235 that can sustain fission chain reactions. Naturally occurring uranium has less than 1% of the uranium-235 isotope.
  • Even a small amount of enrichment, in the range of 3% to 5%, called “low enrichment”, is sufficient to run nuclear power reactors which allow only controlled fission reactions.
  • For making nuclear weapons, however, “highly enriched” uranium — with more than 90% uranium-235 — is needed.
  • More enrichment means more uranium-235 nuclei are available to be split, which in turn means greater heat and energy can be generated.

4 . Lithium ion Giga Factory

Context : To push the adoption of electric mobility in the country, government think-tank NITI Aayog has proposed the establishment of giga factories in India for the manufacture of lithium-ion batteries in the next couple of years.


  • The two-wheeler industry had strongly opposed the Aayog’s proposal to stop selling ICE (internal combustion engine) 150cc two-wheelers, cautioning that the move would disrupt the industry that was already reeling under stress.
  • Terming the proposal impractical, the industry had also pointed out that batteries, which were a crucial part of electric vehicles, were expensive and not made in India. Additionally, they had said that India would be importing lithium-ion batteries from China for its electric vehicles.

About Lithium ion Giga factory

  • Giga factories will be established for making lithium-ion batteries in India.
  • It is expected that at least three-four factories to come up in the next two-three years so that when the policy [moving to electric two and three-wheelers] comes into effect, there will be domestically produced lithium-ion batteries or other advanced technology batteries

About Lithium ion Batteries

  • A rechargeable lithium-ion battery is made of one or more power-generating compartments called cells.
  • Each cell has essentially three components: a positive electrode (connected to the battery’s positive or + terminal), a negative electrode (connected to the negative or − terminal), and a chemical called an electrolyte in between them. T
  • The positive electrode is typically made from a chemical compound called lithium-cobalt oxide (LiCoO2) or, in newer batteries, from lithium iron phosphate (LiFePO4).
  • The negative electrode is generally made from carbon (graphite) and the electrolyte varies from one type of battery to another
  • When the battery is charging up, the lithium-cobalt oxide, positive electrode gives up some of its lithium ions, which move through the electrolyte to the negative, graphite electrode and remain there. The battery takes in and stores energy during this process.
  • When the battery is discharging, the lithium ions move back across the electrolyte to the positive electrode, producing the energy that powers the battery.
  • In both cases, electrons flow in the opposite direction to the ions around the outer circuit.
  • The movement of ions (through the electrolyte) and electrons (around the external circuit, in the opposite direction) are interconnected processes, and if either stops so does the other.
  • If ions stop moving through the electrolyte because the battery completely discharges, electrons can’t move through the outer circuit either—so you lose your power.
  • Similarly, if you switch off whatever the battery is powering, the flow of electrons stops and so does the flow of ions. 

5 . International Whaling Commission

Context : Despite international outcry, Japan has already hunted its first whales as part of its return to commercial whaling following a 31-year hiatus.

About International Whailing Commission

  • The IWC is the global body charged with the conservation of whales and the management of whaling. 
  • It is set up by the terms of the International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling (ICRW), which was signed in Washington, D.C., United States, on December 2, 1946 to “provide for the proper conservation of whale stocks and thus make possible the orderly development of the whaling industry.
  • The IWC currently has 88 member governments from countries all over the world.  
  • The Commission’s role has expanded since its establishment in 1946.  In addition to regulation of whaling, today’s IWC works to address a wide range of conservation issues including bycatch and entanglement, ocean noise, pollution and debris, collision between whales and ships, and sustainable whale watching.
  • The Indian Ocean Whale Sanctuary and Southern ocean whale sanctuary are the areas where the International Whaling Commission (IWC) has banned all types of commercial whaling.

6 . National Defense Authorisation Act

About National Defense Authorisation Act

  • The U.S. Senate has passed a legislative provision that brings India at par with America’s NATO allies and countries like Israel and South Korea for increasing defence cooperation.
  • The National Defense Authorisation Act or NDAA for the fiscal year 2020, that contained such a proposal was passed by the U.S. Senate
  • The bill would be signed into law after both the chambers of the U.S. Congress — the House of Representatives and the Senate — passes it.

7 .Facts for Prelims

Mole on Mars

  • The mole is the informal name for a digging device on Mars, is part of the Heat Flow and Physical Properties Package (HP3), an instrument designed to take the temperature below the surface of Mars.
  • Built by the German Aerospace Centre (DLR), HP3 measures the temperature of the interior to study the quantity of heat flowing out of Mars, and determine its source. This will help scientists find similarities if any between the makeup of Earth and Mars, and look for clues on the Red Planet’s evolution.
  • The mole, a self-hammering device, can dig up to 5 m below the surface, but was unable to dig deeper than 30 cm. This could be either because the soil failed to provide the kind of friction the mole was designed for, or because it encountered a large rock.
  • NASA’s InSight lander used a robotic arm to move the mole’s support structure.

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