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Insights Daily Current Affairs + PIB: 30 September 2019

Insights Daily Current Affairs + PIB: 30 September 2019

Table of contents:

GS Paper 2:

  1. The idea of regional Supreme Court Benches, and ‘divisions’ of the top court.
  2. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).


GS Paper 3:

  1. Ban on export of onion.
  2. ‘Industry 4.0’.
  3. Climate Vulnerability Map of India.


GS Paper 4:

  1. The ‘right to be forgotten’ on the Internet.


Facts for Prelims:

  1. INS Vikramaditya.
  2. Saraswati Samman.
  3. INS Nilgiri.
  4. Bathukamma.
  5. Galo Community.
  6. Asteroid named after Pandit Jasraj.



GS Paper 2:

Topics Covered:

  1. Separation of powers between various organs dispute redressal mechanisms and institutions.


The idea of regional Supreme Court Benches, and ‘divisions’ of the top court


What to study?

For Prelims: Supreme Court- various benches and their establishment.

For Mains: Need for division and more benches, challenges involved.


Context: Recently VP M Venkaiah Naidu made the following suggestions;

  1. Institute four regional Benches to tackle the enormous backlog of cases, and to ensure their speedy disposal.
  2. The court should be split into two divisions. 


Why these suggestions were made?

  1. In the early decades of the Republic, the Supreme Court of India functioned largely as a constitutional court, with some 70-80 judgments being delivered every year by Constitution Benches of five or more judges who ruled, as per Article 145(3) of the Constitution, on matters “involving a substantial question of law as to the interpretation of [the] Constitution”.
  2. This number has now come down to 10-12. Due to their heavy workload, judges mostly sit in two- or three-judge Benches to dispose of all kinds of cases; these include several non-Constitutional and relatively petty matters such as bans (or lifting of bans) on films, or allegations that a Commissioner of Police is misusing his powers.
  3. On some occasions, even PILs on demands such as Sardar jokes should be banned, or that Muslims should be sent out of the country, come before the Supreme Court.
  4. More than 65,000 cases are pending in the Supreme Court, and disposal of appeals takes many years. Several cases involving the interpretation of the Constitution by five or seven judges have been pending for years.


What the Law Commissions said?

  1. The Supreme Court of India should consist of two Divisions, namely (a) Constitutional Division, and (b) Legal Division.
  2. Only matters of Constitutional law may be assigned to the proposed Constitutional Division.
  3. A Constitution Bench be set up at Delhi to deal with constitutional and other allied issues”.
  4. Four Cassation Benches be set up in the Northern region/zone at Delhi, the Southern region/zone at Chennai/Hyderabad, the Eastern region/zone at Kolkata and the Western region/zone at Mumbai to deal with all appellate work arising out of the orders/judgments of the High Courts of the particular region”.


Why we need multiple Benches?

It is obvious that travelling to New Delhi or engaging expensive Supreme Court counsel to pursue a case is beyond the means of most litigants.


Who can decide on this?

Article 130 says that “the Supreme Court shall sit in Delhi or in such other place or places, as the Chief Justice of India may, with the approval of the President, from time to time, appoint.”

Supreme Court Rules give the Chief Justice of India the power to constitute Benches — he can, for instance, have a Constitution Bench of seven judges in New Delhi, and set up smaller Benches in, say, four or six places across the country.


Sources: Indian Express.

Topics Covered:

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


Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)


What to study?

For Prelims:about IPCC, working groups and assessment reports.

For Mains: Climate change and role of IPCC in assessing these changes.


Context: IPCC Working Group III is meeting in India to further preparations of Sixth Assessment Report.

More than 200 experts from 65 countries will come together to start preparing a first draft of the report, which is due to be finalized in July 2021

The meeting is hosted by the Ministry of Environment, Forest & Climate Change, Government of India.



IPCC Working Group III is responsible for assessing the mitigation of climate change – responses and solutions to the threat of dangerous climate change by reducing emissions and enhancing sinks of the greenhouse gases that are responsible for global warming.

Comprehensive scientific assessment reports are published every 6 to 7 years; the latest, the Fifth Assessment Report, was completed in 2014, and provided the main scientific input to the Paris Agreement.


What is Sixth Assessment Report (AR6)?

  1. It will examine topics such as the link between consumption and behaviour and greenhouse gas emissions, and the role of innovation and technology.
  2. It will assess the connection between short to medium-term actions and their compatibility with the long-term temperature goal in the Paris Agreement.
  3. It will assess mitigation options in sectors such as energy, agriculture, forestry and land use, buildings, transport and industry.


What next?

  1. Each of the three IPCC Working Groups will release their contributions to the Sixth Assessment Report in 2021.
  2. A Synthesis Report in 2022 will integrate them together with the three special reports that the IPCC is producing in the current assessment cycle.
  3. It will be released in time to inform the 2023 global stocktake by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) when countries will review progress towards the Paris Agreement goal of keeping global warming to well below 2°C while pursuing efforts to limit it to 1.5°C.


About the IPCC:
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is the UN body for assessing the science related to climate change.

Established by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) in 1988.

Aim: to provide political leaders with periodic scientific assessments concerning climate change, its implications and risks, as well as to put forward adaptation and mitigation strategies.

Composition: It has 195 member states.


The IPCC has three working groups:

  1. Working Group I, dealing with the physical science basis of climate change.
  2. Working Group II, dealing with impacts, adaptation and vulnerability.
  3. Working Group III, dealing with the mitigation of climate change.


Sources: pib



GS Paper 3:

Topics Covered:

  1. Major crops cropping patterns in various parts of the country, different types of irrigation and irrigation systems storage, transport and marketing of agricultural produce and issues and related constraints; e-technology in the aid of farmers.


Ban on export of onion


What to study?

For Prelims: Why onion prices are on rise? Overview of the policy.

For Mains: Can the ban help? What else can be done?


Context: In a bid to tame onion prices, which have doubled in the domestic retail market since July, the government has taken the following decisions;

  1. Banned exports of all varieties of onion.
  2. Imposed stock limits on onion traders to facilitate release of stocks and prevent hoarding by traders. 

In this regard, Commerce and industry ministry amended the export policy of onion, making it ‘prohibited’ from ‘free’ earlier. 



Retail traders across the country will now be able to stock only up to 100 quintals of onion while wholesale traders will be allowed to stock up to 500 quintals. 


What do experts say?

A ban is an irrational, and sub-optimal solution. Instead, efforts should be channelized into investing in scientific storage and processing facilities that will help augment supplies during a crisis. 


Need of the hour:

  1. Promote modern cold storages and develop a system similar to that of the warehouse receipt system for farmers. 
  2. States must launch a concerted intelligence drive to crack down on hoarders and bring the stocks to the market swiftly. 
  3. Encourage imports.
  4. Set up onion dehydrating units and promote demand for dehydrated onions amongst large consumers.


Way ahead:

More policy making and political attention should be devoted to raising onion output, or for that matter farm output in general. Complacency on the farm front is wholly avoidable. 


Sources: pib.

Topics Covered:

  1. Effects of liberalization on the economy, changes in industrial policy and their effects on industrial growth.


‘Industry 4.0’


What to study?

For Prelims and mains: What is it, significance, potential, challenges and ways to address them.


Context: The Ministry of Railways and Department of Science & Technology have joined hands in partnership with IIT Kanpur for taking up a unique project on ‘Industry 4.0’ by launching a Pilot Project for implementation at Modern Coach Factory, Raebareli.


Benefits and outcomes:

Full transition to the digital factory using ‘Industry 4.0’ across entire value chain from design to production will help enhance productivity hugely by providing insight into production process to take the decisions in real time basis, minimizing human errors by effective monitoring to ensure that resources are put to the best utilization measured by, what is called the Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE).


What is ‘Industry 4.0’?

Commonly referred to as the fourth industrial revolution, it is a name given to the current trend of automation, interconnectivity and data exchange in manufacturing technologies to increase productivity.

Industry 4.0 is a complex Cyber-Physical Systems which synergizes production with digital technologies, the Internet of Things, Artificial Intelligence, Big Data & Analytics, Machine Learning and Cloud Computing.



There are four distinct industrial revolutions that the world either has experienced or continues to experience today.

  1. First Industrial Revolution: Happened between the late 1700s and early 1800s. During this period of time, manufacturing evolved from focusing on manual labor performed by people and aided by work animals to a more optimized form of labor performed by people through the use of water and steam-powered engines and other types of machine tools.
  2. Second Industrial Revolution: In the early part of the 20th century, the world entered a second industrial revolution with the introduction of steel and use of electricity in factories. The introduction of electricity enabled manufacturers to increase efficiency and helped make factory machinery more mobile. It was during this phase that mass production concepts like the assembly line were introduced as a way to boost productivity.
  3. Third Industrial Revolution: Starting in the late 1950s, it slowly began to emerge, as manufacturers began incorporating more electronic—and eventually computer—technology into their factories. During this period, manufacturers began experiencing a shift that put less emphasis on analog and mechanical technology and more on digital technology and automation software.


Industrial Revolution 4.0 can help in transforming India by:

  1. Alleviating poverty.
  2. Better and low-cost healthcare.
  3. Enhancing farmer’s income.
  4. Providing new technology and equipment to farmers.
  5. Strengthening infrastructure, improving connectivity.
  6. Improve ease of living and ease of doing business.


Sources: pib.

Topics Covered:

  1. Disaster and disaster management.


Climate Vulnerability Map of India


What to study?

For Prelims and mains: Overview, need for and significance of the map.


Context: For preparing communities and people to meet the challenge arising out of climate changes, a pan India climate vulnerability assessment map is being developed. Such climate vulnerability atlas has already been developed for 12 states in the Indian Himalayan Region, using a common framework.


Key facts:

  • The map is being developed under a joint project of the Department of Science and Technology (DST) under the Union Ministry of Science and Technology and Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC).
  • This research programme of DST is being implemented as part of the National Mission for Sustaining the Himalayan Ecosystem (NMSHE) and National Mission on Strategic Knowledge for Climate Change (NMSKCC).
  • The atlas is expected to be ready by the middle of 2020.


Why such move?

  1. Climate risk is interplay of hazard, exposure and vulnerability. There is a rise in climate-sensitive livelihood of people. While the occurrence of natural hazards such as landslides, droughts and floods is projected to go up, their impact depends on the level of exposure such as presence of people and infrastructure in areas. Hence a common methodology for assessing vulnerability is critical for comparison and for planning adaptation strategies.
  2. Addressing vulnerability can help reduce risk to climate change. It also helps in identifying what makes a state or district vulnerable to climate change.
  3. The vulnerability assessments will be useful for officials, decision makers, funding agencies and experts to have a common understanding on vulnerability and enable them to plan for adaptation.


Sources: the Hindu.



GS Paper 4:


The ‘right to be forgotten’ on the Internet


Context: Recently, the European Union’s highest court ruled that an online privacy rule known as the ‘right to be forgotten’ under European law would not apply beyond the borders of EU member states.



ECJ ruled in favour of the search engine giant Google, which was contesting a French regulatory authority’s order to have web addresses removed from its global database.


Significance of the ruling:

The ruling comes as an important victory for Google, and lays down that the online privacy law cannot be used to regulate the internet in countries such as India, which are outside the European Union.


What is the ‘right to be forgotten’ under European law?

It is provided by the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), a law passed by the 28-member bloc in 2018.

The right empowers individuals to ask organisations to delete their personal data.

Personal data” means “any information relating to an identified or identifiable natural person (“data subject”)”, and “controller” means “the natural or legal person, public authority, agency or any other body which determines the purposes and means of the processing of personal data”.


Sources: Indian Express.




Facts for Prelims:


INS Vikramaditya:

  • It is a modified Kiev-class aircraft carrier.
  • In service since 2013.
  • Originally built as Bakuand commissioned in 1987, the carrier served with the Soviet Navy and later with the Russian Navy (as Admiral Gorshkov) before being decommissioned in 1996.


Saraswati Samman:

Eligibility: Saraswati Samman is the annual award given to an outstanding literary work in any Indian language mentioned in Schedule VIII of the Constitution and published in 10 years preceding the specified award year.

Significance: It is the highest recognition in the field of Indian literature in the country and carries a citation, a plaque and award money of ₹15 lakh.

The award is presented by the KK Birla Foundation, a literary and cultural organisation that also gives the Vyas Samman for Hindi, and Bihari Puraskar for Hindi and Rajasthani writers of Rajasthan.


INS Nilgiri:

Context: Navy’s first new stealth frigate, INS ‘Nilgiri’.

It is the first ship of Project17A.

  • Project 17A frigates is a design derivative of the Shivalik class stealth frigates with much more advanced stealth features and indigenous weapons and sensors.
  • These frigates are being built using integrated construction methodology.
  • The P17A frigates incorporate new design concepts for improved survivability, sea keeping, stealth and ship manoeuvrability.



Context: Telangana government recently celebrated the eagerly awaited ‘Festival of Flowers’ (Bathukamma) for which the State is known.

  • The festival was traditionally celebrated by women across the state.
  • Every year this festival is celebrated as per Telugu version of Hindu calendar in the Bhadrapada Amavasya, also known as Mahalaya Amavasya, usually in September–October of Gregorian calendar.
  • In Telugu, ‘Bathukamma’ means ‘Mother Goddess come Alive’.
  • It is the state festival of Telangana.


Galo community:

  • At about 1.5 lakh people, the Galos are one of the 26 major communities of Arunachal Pradesh.
  • The Galos belong to the Tani group inhabiting Assam and Arunachal Pradesh, besides Tibet.
  • They trace their common origin to a primeval ancestor, Abotani.
  • They have a system of prefixing the second syllable of a father’s name to that of a son, who passes on the suffix in his name to his son. Hence they can trace the names of ancestors from the first syllable or prefix of our names.
  • Mopinis the main festival in Galos which is celebrated for the prosperity of the villages
  • The Galos perform Popir dance.


Asteroid named after Pandit Jasraj:

  • The International Astronomical Union (IAU) has named an asteroid/minor planet, discovered in 2006, after Indian classical singer Pandit Jasraj. He is the first Indian to receive this honour.
  • About Pandit Jasraj: He is an exponent of Indian classical vocal music. He is the recipient of numerous awards, honours, and titles, including the prestigious Padma Vibhushan and the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award.