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Insights Daily Current Events, 31 August 2015

Insights Daily Current Events, 31 August 2015

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Paper 1 Topic: Modern Indian history from about the middle of the eighteenth century until the present- significant events, personalities, issues.

Sree Narayana Jayanthi Celebrated

The 161st birth anniversary of Sree Narayana Guru was celebrated across the Kochi district with processions, feasts and art/cultural shows recently.

  • To commemorate the birth anniversary public meetings were organised in various parts of the Kochi district in Kerala, highlighting the teachings of Narayana Guru.

narayan guru

Who was Narayana Guru?

Narayana Guru (1854 – 1928) was a social reformer. He has been credited with transforming the social fabric of kerala and changing the beliefs of keralites in ways unimaginable at that point in time.

  • He was born into an Ezhava family in an era when people from such communities, which were regarded as Avarna, faced much social injustice in the caste-ridden society of Kerala.

Contributions/achievements:

  • He led a reform movement in Kerala, rejected casteism, and promoted new values of spiritual freedom and social equality.
  • He stressed the need for the spiritual and social upliftment of the downtrodden by their own efforts through the establishment of temples and educational institutions.
  • In the process, he denounced the superstitions that clouded the fundamental Hindu cultural convention of caste.
  • He preached the ‘oneness’ of humanity, crossing the boundaries of caste and creed.
  • In 1888, he installed an idol of siva at Aravippuram in Kerala in his effort to show that the consecration of god’s image was not a monopoly of the brahmins. This is popularly known as Aravippuram movement.
  • The above event also inspired many socio religious reform movements in the south including Temple Entry Movement.

Sources: The Hindu, Wiki.

 

Paper 3 Topic: Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment.

Yettinahole: agitations planned as work begins

Activists in Dakshina Kannada, Karnataka have planned a series of agitations from September 1 to press the government to stop the Nethravati diversion project (Yettinahole project). Activists have alleged that the state government has begun the project forcibly brushing aside the opposition to it.

  • The project has commenced in Hassan district of Karnataka.

Other major allegations against the Project:

  • The government has taken up the works by violating Karnataka Preservation of Trees Act, 1976.
  • Before the work was taken up, land acquisition process wasn’t taken up, land losers were not given compensation, and environmental hearing was not conducted.
  • The project would dry the Nethravathi, the lifeline of Dakshina Kannada, in the coming days.
  • The state government is following a dual policy, as in one hand it is stating that forest should be preserved for elephant corridor and on the other hand it is ravaging the forest for diversion of a water source.

yettinhole project

About Yettinahole project:

  • The Yettinahole project envisages to pump about 24 tmc ft of water from Yettinahole, a tributary of River Netravathi.
  • It involves construction of dams and reservoir, pumping of water, flowing of water with gravitational force and finally filling of lakes.
  • As per the project, 24 tmc ft of water from Ettinahole and a couple of other tributaries of Netravathi River will be drawn by constructing minor dams.
  • The project envisages diverting the water to drought prone Chikkaballapur, Kolur, Tumkur and Bangalore rural districts.
  • The total cost of the project is Rs 8,323 crore.
  • The Yettinahole Project has come in for very strong opposition from environmental groups, who argue that the diversion of river basins from their natural course of opposite direction is fundamentally unscientific and would greatly disturb the very pattern of landscape ecology. This will result in problems like uneven percolation pattern, seepage problems, opening up of ground water sources in higher altitudes etc.

Sources: The Hindu, TOI.

 

Paper 3 Topics: Various Security forces and agencies and their mandate and Linkages between development and spread of extremism.

NIA for softer cases against youth saved from terror path

The National Investigation Agency (NIA) has asked the Union Home Ministry to invoke lighter sections of the law against young men stopped from joining terrorist organisations such as the Islamic State.

Why?

The NIA feels that young men who have been stopped from joining organisations such as the IS should not be booked under stringent penal provisions so as not to deter parents and other family members from coming forward to report such cases.

Then, why book under lighter sections of the law?

Booking them under lighter sections can act as a deterrent and will create the fear of the law in their minds.

Why not follow western practices?

Unlike western countries, where a potential IS recruiter comes under the radar just by his travel plans to the Middle East, raising a suspicion is almost impossible in case of Indians as such a travel pattern had been in existence in the country for decades — and most travellers to the region have business and employment interests in India.

Background:

For quite some time now, there was a debate going on in government on whether to book young men stopped from joining terrorist organisations such as the Islamic State under stringent penal provisions.

What else has the NIA said?

  • NIA has also said that potential young terror recruits should be identified and bind-down orders issued against them.
  • It has also asked the Bureau of Immigration, which records the movement of passengers to and from the country, to study immigration patterns of Indians in a systematic manner and generate red flags.

About National Investigation Agency:

National Investigation Agency (NIA) is a federal agency established by the Indian Government to combat terror in India. It acts as the Central Counter Terrorism Law Enforcement Agency. The agency is empowered to deal with terror related crimes across states without special permission from the states.

Background:

  • The Agency came into existence with the enactment of the National Investigation Agency Act 2008 by the Parliament of India on 31 December 2008.
  • NIA was created after the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks as need for a central agency to combat terrorism was realised.

Jurisdiction:

  • NIA has concurrent jurisdiction which empowers the Centre to probe terror attacks in any part of the country, covering offences, including challenge to the country’s sovereignty and integrity, bomb blasts, hijacking of aircraft and ships, and attacks on nuclear installations.
  • Other than offenses of terrorism, it also deals with counterfeit currency, human trafficking, narcotics or drugs, organised crime (extortion mobs and gangs), plane hijacking and violations of atomic energy act and weapons of mass destruction act.
  • A State Government may request the Central Government to hand over the investigation of a case to the NIA, provided the case has been registered for the offenses as contained in the schedule to the NIA Act.
  • Central Government can also order NIA to take over investigation of any scheduled offense anywhere in the India.

Other details:

  • Officers of the NIA who are drawn from the Indian Revenue Service and the Indian Police Service have all powers, privileges and liabilities which the police officers have in connection with investigation of any offense.
  • Various Special Courts have been notified by the Central Government of India for trial of the cases registered at various police stations of NIA under the NIA Act 2008. Any question as to the jurisdiction of these courts is decided by the Central Government.
  • Special courts are presided over by a judge appointed by the Central Government on the recommendation of the Chief Justice of the High Court with jurisdiction in that region.
  • Supreme Court of India has also been empowered to transfer the cases from one special court to any other special court within or outside the state if the same is in the interest of justice in light of the prevailing circumstances in any particular state. They are empowered with all powers of the court of sessions under Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 for trial of any offense.
  • An appeal from any judgment, sentence or order, not being an interlocutory order, of a Special Court lies to the High Court both on facts and on law. Such an appeal is heard by a bench of two Judges of the High Court.
  • At present there are 38 Special NIA Courts. State Governments have also been empowered to appoint one or more such special courts in their states.

Sources: The Hindu, NIA.

 

Paper 2 and 3 Topics: Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors, and Indian Economy and issues relating to planning, mobilization of resources, growth, development and employment.

Centre’s nod for NIMZ in Medak

The proposed National Investment and Manufacturing Zone (NIMZ) at Zaheerabad in Medak district is expected to take roots in the near future with a clear indication received by the Telangana Government from the Centre.

  • The proposed NIMZ is expected to come up in about 11,252 acres, which has already been identified in the past by then combined Andhra Pradesh Government.

What are National Investment and Manufacturing Zones (NIMZs)?

The National Investment & Manufacturing Zones (NIMZs) are an important instrumentality of the National manufacturing policy. The NIMZs are envisaged as integrated industrial townships with:

  • state of the art infrastructure
  • land use on the basis of zoning
  • clean and energy efficient technology
  • necessary social infrastructure
  • skill development facilities etc.

NIMZs also aim to provide a productive environment for persons transitioning from the primary to the secondary and tertiary sectors.

What the National Manufacturing Policy (NMP) says?

The National Manufacturing Policy (NMP) has the objective of enhancing the share of manufacturing in GDP to 25% and creating 100 million jobs over a decade. The NMP provides for promotion of clusters and aggregation, especially through the creation of national investment and manufacturing zones (NIMZ).

The National Manufacturing Policy (NMP) provides inter-alia for:

  • Relief from Capital Gains Tax on sale of plant and machinery of a unit located in a National Investment and Manufacturing Zone (NIMZ) in case of re-investment of sale consideration within a period of three years for purchase of new plant & machinery in any other unit located in the same NIMZ or another NIMZ.
  • Rollover relief from long term Capital Gains tax to individuals on sale of a residential property (house or plot of land) in case of re-investment of sale consideration in the equity of a new start-up SME company in the manufacturing sector for the purchase of a new plant and machinery.
  • Simple and expeditious exit mechanism for closure of sick units while protecting labour interests;
  • In respect of environmental laws/regulations, inspection by specially trained/designated/notified agencies for third party inspection to supplement the inspection by the Government agencies for compliance monitoring.

Some notable points:

  • NIMZ can be proposed with land area of at least 5000 hectares.
  • Land will be selected by state governments and preference would be given to uncultivable land.
  • NIMZ will be managed by Special Purpose Vehicle, headed by. Govt. officials and experts, including those of environment.
  • To enable NIMZs to function as self governing autonomous bodies, they will be declared by the state government as industrial townships under Article 243 Q (c ) of the constitution.
  • NIMZs will be notified by the central government.

Sources: The Hindu, PIB, DIPP.

 

Paper 2 Topic: Bodies constituted for the protection and betterment of vulnerable sections.

No Tribal Council in Maharashtra yet

The proposal to form a new Tribal Advisory Council (TAC) in Maharashtra, under the fresh regime, is pending even after 10 months of assuming office.

  • The Opposition has alleged that the delay was to suppress the resistance of Tribal MLAs to the demand of Dhangar community to include them in the Scheduled Tribe (ST) quota.

Tribal Advisory Councils (TACs):

The Tribes Advisory Councils have been constituted in the Scheduled Areas States i.e. Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Jharkhand, Himachal Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Odisha and Rajasthan and non Scheduled Areas States of Tamil Nadu and West Bengal.

  • TACs are mandated as per the Fifth schedule of the constitution, to advice on matters pertaining to the welfare and advancement of the STs in respective States as may be referred to them by the Governor.
  • The decisions taken in the TACs do not need Cabinet’s approval and the council enjoys a say in crucial matter related to tribal issues.
  • The government has to nominate tribal MLAs and MPs for the TAC of which the Chief Minister is the chairperson.
  • Fifth Schedule of the Constitution envisages that “There shall be established in each State having Scheduled Areas therein and, if the President so directs, also in any State having Scheduled Tribes but not Scheduled Areas therein.

Sources: The Hindu, PIB.

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