Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Insights Daily Current Affairs + PIB: 03 September 2019


Insights Daily Current Affairs + PIB: 03 September 2019


Table of contents:

GS Paper 1:

  1. Formation of Interim government of India.

 

GS Paper 2:

  1. Tibetan Democracy Day.
  2. United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD).
  3. Malé Declaration.
  4. Interpol General Assembly.
  5. Association of World Election Bodies.

 

GS Paper 3:

  1. Inter-ministerial panel on fintech.

 

Facts for Prelims:

  1. AH-64 Apache combat helicopters.
  2. Who is a Professor Emerita/Emeritus, and how is she/he appointed?
  3. Lignin
  4. Joint Naval Annual Quality Conclave (JNAQC).
  5. Terracotta Grinder.

 


 

GS Paper 1:

Topics Covered:

Modern Indian history from about the middle of the eighteenth century until the present- significant events, personalities, issues

 

Formation of Interim government of India

 

What to study?

For Prelims: Key composition of the interim government and various decisions executed.

For Mains: What led to the creation of interim government and what was the outcome of it?

 

Context: On September 2, 1946, the interim government of India led by Jawaharlal Nehru was formed.

 

About the Interim Government:

It was the only such cabinet in India’s history in which both Congress and the Muslim League shared power at the Centre.

The interim government functioned with a great degree of autonomy, and remained in power until the end of British rule, after which it was succeeded by the Dominions of India and Pakistan.

 

What led to the formation of India’s interim government, who were its members, and what decisions did it take?

Starting with the Cripps mission in 1942, a number of attempts were made by colonial authorities to form an interim government in India.

In 1946, elections to the Constituent Assembly were held following the proposals of the British Cabinet Mission dispatched by the British Prime Minister Clement Attlee.

Viceroy Wavell subsequently called upon Indian representatives to join the interim government.

The interim government functioned according to the older Government of India Act of 1919.

 

Some of the decisions by the cabinet:

  1. To engage in direct diplomatic relations with all countries and goodwill missions.
  2. Support for the independence of colonised nations.
  3. In November 1946, ratified the Convention on International Civil Aviation.
  4. In the same month, a committee was appointed to advise the government on nationalising the armed forces.
  5. In April 1947, the US announced the appointment of Dr. Henry F. Grady as its ambassador to India.
  6. On June 1, the Indian Commonwealth Relations Department and the External Affairs Department were merged to form the single Department of External Affairs and Commonwealth Relations.

 

Sources: Indian Express.


GS Paper 2:

Topics Covered:

Comparison of the Indian constitutional scheme with that of other countries.

 

Tibetan Democracy Day

 

What to study?

For Prelims: Significance if the day and about the Government in- exile.

For Mains: What led to the formation of government in- exile, challenges faced by them and the overall significance.

 

Context: September 2 marks the anniversary of the establishment of the democratic system of the Tibetan people living in exile in India.

This year, the Tibetan Government-in-Exile celebrated its 59th Democracy Day.

 

Why is this day significant?

In February 1960, after he crossed over into India, the Fourteenth Dalai Lama outlined in Bodh Gaya, a detailed programme of democratic practice for exiled Tibetans.

He advised them to set up an elected body with three exiled representatives each from the three provinces, and one each from the four religious schools of Tibetan Buddhism.

After elections were held, 13 elected representatives, called ‘Deputies’, were designated as the ‘Commission of Tibetan People’s Deputies’ (CTPD). They took oath on September 2, 1960.

Subsequently from 1975 onward, this date began to be formally observed as Tibetan Democracy Day.

 

About Parliament-in-Exile:

The TPiE is the highest legislative body of the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA).

It is described as one of the three pillars of Tibetan democratic governance — the others being the Judiciary and the Kashag, or Executive.

The CTA is based in Dharamsala, Himachal Pradesh.

Elections are held every five years to elect Members of the TPiE, and their Sikyong (Prime Minister).

 

Government-in-Exile:

On March 10, 1963, the Dalai Lama promulgated the Constitution of the Tibetan Government-in-Exile (TGiE).

From 1991 onwards, TPiE became the legislative organ of the CTA, the Tibetan Supreme Justice Commission became the judicial organ, and the Kashag the executive organ.

The TGiE is not recognised officially by any country, including India. However, many countries, including the US, deal directly with the Sikyong and other Tibetan leaders through various forums.

 

Sources: Indian Express.


Topics covered:

Important International institutions, agencies and fora, their structure, mandate.

 

United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD)

 

What to study?

For Prelims: UNCCD.

For Mains: Land Degradation- issues, challenges and solutions.

 

Context: The 14th meeting of the Conference of Parties to the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD COP 14) begins in New Delhi.

India took over the Presidency of the COP from China

 

About UNCCD:

  1. Established in 1994.
  2. It is the sole legally binding international agreement linking environment and development to sustainable land management.
  3. It is the only convention stemming from a direct recommendation of the Rio Conference’s Agenda 21.
  4. To help publicise the Convention, 2006 was declared “International Year of Deserts and Desertification”.
  5. Focus areas: The Convention addresses specifically the arid, semi-arid and dry sub-humid areas, known as the drylands, where some of the most vulnerable ecosystems and peoples can be found.
  6. Aim: Its 197 Parties aim, through partnerships, to implement the Convention and achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. The end goal is to protect land from over-use and drought, so it can continue to provide food, water and energy.
  7. The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change is the nodal Ministry for this Convention.

 

Need of the hour:

Responsible land governance is key to provide an enabling environment for ecosystem restoration, biodiversity protection, land use-based adaptation and for improving the livelihoods of many small-scale farmers.

At the UNCCD COP 14, parties to the convention have the opportunity to adopt an ambitious resolution on land tenure for Land Degradation Neutrality. They must use this opportunity to empower communities to better adapt to the impacts of the climate emergency.

 

Sources: the Hindu.


Topics Covered:

Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests.

Malé Declaration

 

What to study?

For Prelims: About Speakers’ summit and it’s significance, Overview of Male Declaration.

For Mains: Significance and implications of the Declaration, Why Kashmir issue must be Treated as internal matter of India?

 

Context: The fourth South Asian Speakers’ Summit was held recently in Maldives capital with the secretary general of the Inter-Parliamentary Union and senior lawmakers from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.

 

Background:

This is the fourth event in a series of Speakers’ Summits for the region on SDGs, the previous three having been hosted by the Jatiya Sangsad of Bangladesh (in 2016), the Sansad of India (in 2017) and the Parliament of Sri Lanka (2018).

 

Outcome of the summit:

At the end of the summit, Male Declaration was adopted by the leaders.

 

About the Male Declaration:

The Declaration “unanimously” felt that Kashmir was an “internal matter” of India and overlooked all assertions made by Islamabad on the issue. 

 

India’s position:

India has defended its decision to scrap provisions of Article 370 that have special status to Jammu and Kashmir, saying that it was an internal matter. India has also snubbed Pakistan for interfering in the internal matters of the country, saying that Pakistan was misleading the world.

 

Way ahead for India:

For India, there is now no “outstanding” issue of Kashmir except India’s claim on Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK), which includes Gilgit-Baltistan. The need for a back-channel to find a solution to the Kashmir issue has disappeared.

India’s decision will also have effect on the Indus Waters Treaty and Pakistan’s strategy of creating obstacles for Indian power projects in Jammu and Kashmir permitted by the treaty.

UN might issue some statement advocating reduction of tensions and peaceful settlement of differences, etc., but a change in India’s domestic law on J&K’s status within the Indian Union is not an international matter as it does not endanger international peace and security.

More importantly, Article 370 does not figure in any UN resolution on Kashmir. It was inserted in the Indian Constitution in 1954 unilaterally by India, many years after the UN resolutions on J&K and, so, it can be unilaterally removed.

 

Options before Pakistan:

Pakistan has propagandist options, but no substantial ones.

It can try to foment resistance within the valley to India’s decision and step up terrorism in J&K.

This will be risky as support to jihadi activities in J&K will allow India to increase pressure on Pakistan in the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), besides the danger of retaliation from India, which Pakistan can ill afford in view of its distressed economic situation.

 

Sources: the Hindu.


Topics Covered:

Important International institutions, agencies and fora, their structure, mandate.

 

Interpol General Assembly

 

What to study?

For Prelims and mains: Composition, objectives and functions of IGA.

 

Context: India has proposed to Interpol that the General Assembly of the organization be held in New Delhi in 2022 as part of the nation’s 75th Independence Day celebrations.

 

What is Interpol?

  1. The International Criminal Police Organisation, or Interpol, is a 194-member intergovernmental organisation.
  2. headquartered in Lyon, France.
  3. formed in 1923 as the International Criminal Police Commission, and started calling itself Interpol in 1956.
  4. India joined the organisation in 1949, and is one of its oldest members.
  5. Interpol’s declared global policing goals include countering terrorism, promoting border integrity worldwide, protection of vulnerable communities, providing a secure cyberspace for people and businesses, curbing illicit markets, supporting environment security, and promoting global integrity.

 

What is the Interpol General Assembly?

  1. It is Interpol’s supreme governing body, and comprises representatives from all its member countries.
  2. It meets annually for a session lasting approximately four days, to vote on activities and policy.
  3. Each country is represented by one or more delegates at the Assembly, who are typically chiefs of law enforcement agencies.
  4. The Assembly also elects the members of the Interpol Executive Committee, the governing body which “provides guidance and direction in between sessions of the Assembly”.

 

Assembly Resolutions:

The General Assembly’s decisions take the form of Resolutions.

Each member country has one vote. Decisions are made either by a simple or a two-thirds majority, depending on the subject matter.

 

Sources: the Hindu.


Topics Covered:

Important International institutions, agencies and fora, their structure, mandate.

 

Association of World Election Bodies

 

Context: Election Commission is hosting the 4th General Assembly of Association of World Election Bodies (A-WEB) at Bengaluru.

India will take over as A-WEB’s Chair for the 2019-21 term.

 

About The Association of World Election Bodies (A-WEB):

It is the largest association of Election Management Bodies (EMBs) worldwide

Established on October 14, 2013 in Song-do, South Korea.

Permanent secretariat is located at Seoul.

Aims to foster efficiency and effectiveness in conducting free, fair, transparent and participative elections worldwide.

Composition: 115 EMBs as Members & 20 Regional Associations/Organisations as Associate Members. 24 EMBs from Asia, 37 from Africa, 31 from America, 17 from Europe &  6 from Oceania presently are members of A WEB.

 

Sources: pib.


 

GS Paper 3:

Topics Covered:

Indian Economy and issues relating to planning, mobilization of resources, growth, development and employment.

Inter-ministerial panel on fintech

 

What to study?

For Prelims and mains: Key recommendations, significance and challenges present.

 

Context: An inter-ministerial panel on fintech has submitted its report to Finance Minister.

 

Key recommendations:

  1. Put in place a comprehensive legal framework to protect consumers of digital services.
  2. Reserve Bank of India should examine issuance of ‘virtual banking licences’.
  3. Dematerialisation of fixed deposits, sovereign gold bonds and post office certificates to promote easy transactions and collateral.
  4. RBI should mandate banks to share crucial customer data after consent.
  5. Regulation technology (or RegTech) should be adopted by all financial sector regulators to develop standards and facilitate adoption by financial service providers.
  6. Fintech should be used to improve access of financial products for MSMEs, farmers and poorer sections of the society.
  7. Insurance companies and lending agencies should be encouraged to use drone and remote sensing technology for crop area, damage and location assessments to support risk reduction in insurance/lending business.
  8. Digitise land records across the country on a war footing.
  9. Set up of an Inter-Ministerial Steering Committee on fintech Applications in the Department of Economic Affairs (DEA) to monitor progress, including exploring and suggesting the potential applications in government financial processes and applications.

 

Sources: the Hindu.


 

Facts for prelims:

 

AH-64 Apache combat helicopters:

Boeing AH-64 Apache combat helicopters inducted into IAF.

These are US- made helicopters.

It is one of the world’s most advanced attack helicopters with multi-role combat capabilities.

The Apache’s capabilities range from greater thrust, lift and joint digital operability to cognitive decision aiding and improved survivability.

 

Who is a Professor Emerita/Emeritus, and how is she/he appointed?

Worldwide, ‘Professor Emeritus/Emerita’ is the title bestowed upon an eminent retired academic in recognition of their work and distinguished service.

In India, the University Grants Commission (UGC) has a ‘Scheme of Emeritus Fellowship’ in order “to provide an opportunity to the superannuated teachers who have been actively engaged in research and teaching programmes in the preceding years to undertake research, without any restriction of position or pay scales”.

Eligibility: The awardee (superannuated) can work under this scheme with a well-defined time-bound action plan up to the age of 70 years or up to two years (non-extendable) of the award whichever is earlier.”

 

Lignin:

Lignin is a complex organic polymer rich in polyphenols with antimicrobial qualities.

It is found in almost all dry plants including crop residues and the woody bark of trees.

Abundant quantities of lignin are generated as post-harvest agro-biomass and in paper and pulp industries every year, which often go waste. 

Why in News? Researchers have developed a lignin-based nanocomposite which could potentially have commercial value. The lignin-based nanomaterial can act as additive in coating and packaging materials

 

Joint Naval Annual Quality Conclave (JNAQC):

Context: Joint Naval Annual Quality Conclave (JNAQC) to be held in Visakhapatnam.

Theme ‘Transformation of QA Paradigm: Opportunities and Challenges’.

Hosted by the Naval Quality Assurance Establishments under the aegis of Director General Quality Assurance (DGQA), Ministry of Defence.

Conclave provides a vibrant environment for stimulating discussions on all aspects pertaining to Transformation of QA Paradigm and will benefit all stakeholders by enabling cross-fertilisation of ideas and best practices from diverse fields.

 

Terracotta Grinder:

The Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC) has launched the first-ever ‘Terracotta Grinder’ at Varanasi.

  • It will grind the wasted and broken pottery items for re-using in pottery-making.
  • It will reduce the cost of production, and will also help to solve the problem of shortage of clays for pottery making.

 

Project REPLAN (REducing PLastic in Nature):

Launched by Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC).

  • It aims to make carry bags by mixing processed and treated plastic waste with cotton fibre rags in the ratio 20:80.
  • The made paper is found to have good strength and durability.
  • It can be used to make paper bags, fine tissues and other paper-based items.