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INSIGHTS DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS + PIB SUMMARY- 13 January 2020

INSIGHTS DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS + PIB SUMMARY- 13 January 2020

Table of Contents:

GS Paper 1:

1. Taanaji Malusare and the Battle of Singhagad.

 

GS Paper 2:

1. Private property is a human right: Supreme Court.

2. Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Act, 2019.

3. Why is National Youth Day celebrated on Swami Vivekananda Jayanti?

4. What is H9N2?

 

GS Paper 3:

1. Artemis mission.

2. What are CRZ rules?

 

Facts for Prelims:

1. Kolkata port renamed.

2. Mission Purvodaya.

 


GS Paper  : 1


 

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

Taanaji Malusare and the Battle of Singhagad

What to study?

For Prelims and mains: About Taanaji, the battle and it’s outcomes.

 Context: A Bollywood film, based on Subedar Taanaji Malusare, a Maratha military leader, was recently released.

Who was Tanaaji Malusare?

He was a Maratha military leader and a close aide of Chhatrapati Shivaji.

Hailing from the Malusare clan, Taanaji is popularly remembered for the Battle of Singhagad that took place in the year 1670.

In the battle, Taanaji fought against Udaybhan Rathore, a formidable Rajput warrior, who was put in charge of Fort Kandhana (later named Singhagad) by Jai Singh.

Battle of Singhagad, 1670:

In the year 1665, the Treaty of Purandar was signed between Jai Singh and Shivaji.

Amongst several demands, the treaty had required the Maratha ruler to give up Fort Kandhana to the Mughals.

After it was taken over by the Mughals, the fort was guarded by Rajput, Pathan and Arab troop guards and was said to be impenetrable.

This deeply disturbed and enraged Shivaji’s mother Rajmata Jijabai. Upon knowing this, Shivaji entrusted Taanaji, the only man he could think of capable of reconquering the fort Kondhana at any cost.

Outcomes of the battle:

  1. Even though the attack by Taanaji took the Mughals by surprise, the latter nonetheless outnumbered the Marathas.
  2. The two clashed for long. Malusare was gravely wounded in the fight and died.
  3. Enraged by the death of their general, the Marathas fought under the leadership of his brother, Suryaji Malusare, and eventually vanquished the enemy.
  4. The fort was renamed as Singhagad (lion’s fort) by Shivaji to honour Tanaji.

Sources: Indian Express.

 


GS Paper  : 2


 

Topics Covered: Indian Constitution- historical underpinnings, evolution, features, amendments, significant provisions and basic structure.

Private property is a human right: Supreme Court

What to study?

For Prelims: Right to property.

For Mains: Observations made by the court and their significance.

Context: The Supreme Court has recently held that a citizen’s right to own private property is a human right and the state cannot take possession of it without following due procedure and authority of law.

Important observations made by the Court:

  1. The state cannot trespass into the private property of a citizen and then claim ownership of the land in the name of ‘adverse possession’.
  2. Grabbing private land and then claiming it as its own makes the state an encroacher.
  3. In a welfare state, right to property is a human right.
  4. A welfare state cannot be permitted to take the plea of adverse possession, which allows a trespasser i.e. a person guilty of a tort, or even a crime, to gain legal title over such property for over 12 years. The State cannot be permitted to perfect its title over the land by invoking the doctrine of adverse possession to grab the property of its own citizens.

What’s the issue?

The Himachal Pradesh government forcibly took over four acres of land belonging to a person at Hamipur district to build a road in 1967.

Even 52 years later, the state has failed to pay the compensation.

The appellant was wholly unaware of her rights and entitlement in law, and did not file any proceedings for compensation of the land compulsorily taken over by the state.

When her petition was turned down by the High Court, the appellant moved the Supreme Court.

Right to Property:

‘Right to private property was previously a fundamental right’ under Article 31 of the Constitution.

Property ceased to be a fundamental right with the 44th Constitution Amendment in 1978.

Nevertheless, Article 300A required the state to follow due procedure and authority of law to deprive a person of his or her private property.

The right to property is now considered to be not only a constitutional or statutory right, but also a human right.

Sources: the Hindu.

 

Topics covered: Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.

Welfare schemes for vulnerable sections of the population by the Centre and States and the performance of these schemes.

Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Act, 2019

What to study?

For Prelims: Definitions included and key features of the bill.

For Mains: Significance, criticisms and the need for a comprehensive review.

Context: The Social Justice Ministry notified the Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Act, 2019.

The Bill was passed by Parliament in November 2019.

Impact:

This will benefit a large number of transgender persons, mitigate the stigma, discrimination and abuse against this marginalized section and bring them into the mainstream of society. This will lead to inclusiveness and will make the transgender persons productive members of the society.

New definition:

According to the new definition, a transgender person is somebody “whose gender does not match the gender assigned to that person at birth and includes trans-men or trans-women, persons with intersex variations, gender-queers, and persons having socio-cultural identities such as kinnar, hijras, aravani, and jogta”.

Highlights of the Bill:

  1. The Act aims to stop discrimination against a transgender person in various sectors such as education, employment, and healthcare. It also directs the central and state governments to provide welfare schemes for them.
  2. It states that a person will be recognized as transgender on the basis of a certificate of identity issued by the District Magistrate. This certificate will be a proof of identity as transgender and confer rights under this Bill.
  3. Going by the Act, a person would have the right to choose to be identified as a man, woman or transgender, irrespective of sex reassignment surgery and hormonal therapy.
  4. It also requires transgender persons to go through a district magistrate and “district screening committee” to get certified as a transperson.
  5. Composition: The committee would comprise a medical officer, a psychologist or psychiatrist, a district welfare officer, a government official, and a transgender person.

Criticisms:

The Act is silent on granting reservations to transgender persons.

It has prescribed punishments for organised begging. However, the

Act doesn’t provide anything to better to condition in those areas, it doesn’t provide for reservation.

It also does not mention any punishments for rape or sexual assault of transgender persons as according to Sections 375 and 376 of the Indian Penal Code, rape is only when a man forcefully enters a woman.

 Sources: The Hindu.

 

Topics Covered: Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources.

Why is National Youth Day celebrated on Swami Vivekananda Jayanti?

What to study?

For Prelims and Mains: NYD- objectives, about Swami Vivekananda.

Context: January 12 marks the birthday of Swami Vivekananda.

  • National Youth Day is celebrated on this day. Celebrated since 1984.
  • The main objective is to promote rational thinking among the youth, believed to be the future of the country.

About Swami Vivekananda:

He was a true luminary, credited with enlightening the western world about Hinduism.

He was an ardent disciple of Sri Ramakrishna Paramahansa and a major force in the revival of Hinduism in India.

He pushed for national integration in colonial India, and his famous speech remains as the one that he gave in Chicago in 1893.

Early life- contributions:

  • Born in Kolkata on January 12, 1863 in Kolkata, Swami Vivekananda was known as Narendra Nath Datta in his pre-monastic life.
  • He is known to have introduced the Hindu philosophies of Yoga and Vedanta to the West.
  • Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose had called Vivekananda the “maker of modern India.”
    In 1893, he took the name ‘Vivekananda’ after Maharaja Ajit Singh of the Khetri State requested him to do so, changing from ‘Sachidananda’ that he used before.
  • He formed the Ramakrishna Mission in 1897 “to set in motion a machinery which will bring noblest ideas to the doorstep of even the poorest and the meanest.”
  • In 1899, he established the Belur Math, which became his permanent abode.
  • He preached ‘neo-Vedanta’, an interpretation of Hinduism through a Western lens, and believed in combining spirituality with material progress.

Books written by him:

‘Raja Yoga’, ‘Jnana Yoga’, ‘Karma Yoga’ are some of the books he wrote.

Sources: The Hindu.

 

Topics Covered: Issues related health.

What is H9N2?

What to study?

For Prelims and Mains: H9N2- spread, concerns and symptoms.

Context: Indian scientists have detected the country’s first case of infection with a rare variant of the virus- H9N2- that causes avian influenza, or bird flu.

About H9N2:

H9N2 is a subtype of the influenza A virus, which causes human influenza as well as bird flu.

The H9N2 subtype was isolated for the first time in Wisconsin, US in 1966 from turkey flocks.

H9N2 viruses are found worldwide in wild birds and are endemic in poultry in many areas.

Threats and concerns:

H9N2 viruses could potentially play a major role in the emergence of the next influenza pandemic.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), with avian influenza viruses circulating in poultry, there is a risk for sporadic infection and small clusters of human cases due to exposure to infected poultry or contaminated environments. Therefore, sporadic human cases are not unexpected.

Sources: The Hindu.

 


GS Paper  : 3


 

Topic covered: Awareness in space.

Artemis Mission

What to study?

For Prelims and Mains: Key features, objectives and significance of the mission, previous missions.

 Context: NASA announces graduating class of 11 astronauts for upcoming space missions including the Artemis Mission.

The team includes an Indian American- Raja Chari.

About Artemis:

NASA wants to send the first woman and the next man to the Moon by the year 2024, which it plans on doing through the Artemis lunar exploration program.

ARTEMIS stands for Acceleration, Reconnection, Turbulence and Electrodynamics of Moon’s Interaction with the Sun.

The mission was named Artemis after the Greek mythological goddess of the Moon and twin sister to Apollo, namesake of the program that sent 12 American astronauts to the Moon between 1969 and 1972.

Objective:

The main objective is to measure what happens when the Sun’s radiation hits our rocky moon, where there is no magnetic field to protect it.

The mission:

For the Artemis program, NASA’s new rocket called the Space Launch System (SLS) will send astronauts aboard the Orion spacecraft a quarter of a million miles away from Earth to the lunar orbit.

Once astronauts dock Orion at the Gateway — which is a small spaceship in orbit around the moon — the astronauts will be able to live and work around the Moon, and from the spaceship, astronauts will take expeditions to the surface of the Moon.

Lunar missions- key facts:

  • Before the US sent the Apollo 11 mission to the Moon, it sent three classes of robotic missions between 1961 and 1968. 
  • On July 20, 1969, Neil Armstrong became the first human to step on the Moon as part of the Apollo 11 mission.
  • After July 1969, 12 American astronauts walked on the surface of the Moon until 1972.
  • In 1959, the Soviet Union’s uncrewed Luna 1 and 2 became the first rover to visit the Moon. Since then, seven nations have followed suit.
  • In the 1990s, the US resumed lunar exploration with robotic missions Clementine and Lunar Prospector.
  • In 2009, it began a new series of robotic lunar missions with the launch of the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) and the Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite (LCROSS).
  • In 2011, NASA began the ARTEMIS (Acceleration, Reconnection, Turbulence, and Electrodynamics of the Moon’s Interaction with the Sun) mission using a pair of repurposed spacecraft and in 2012 the Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory (GRAIL) spacecraft studied the Moon’s gravity.
  • Apart from the US, the European Space Agency, Japan, China, and India have sent missions to explore the Moon.
  • China landed two rovers on the surface, which includes the first-ever landing on the Moon’s far side in 2019.
  • The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) recently announced India’s third lunar mission Chandrayaan-3, which will comprise a lander and a rover.

Sources: Indian Express.

 

Topics Covered: Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment.

What are CRZ rules?

What to study?

For Prelims and Mains: CRZ Regulations- key features and significance.

Context: SC backs order to demolish 59 villas on Kerala island for violating CRZ norms.

The villas are constructed in the Vembanad backwaters — a Ramsar site. The wetland is of international importance and protected by the Ramsar Convention.

What are CRZ norms?

In India, the Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) Rules govern human and industrial activity close to the coastline, in order to protect the fragile ecosystems near the sea. They restrict certain kinds of activities — like large constructions, setting up of new industries, storage or disposal of hazardous material, mining, reclamation and bunding — within a certain distance from the coastline.

Background:

After the passing of the Environment Protection Act in 1986, CRZ Rules were first framed in 1991. After these were found to be restrictive, the Centre notified new Rules in 2011, which also included exemptions for the construction of the Navi Mumbai airport and for projects of the Department of Atomic Energy.

In 2018, fresh Rules were issued, which aimed to remove certain restrictions on building, streamlined the clearance process, and aimed to encourage tourism in coastal areas.

What is the regulation zone?

In all Rules, the regulation zone has been defined as the area up to 500 m from the high-tide line.

What are the restrictions?

The restrictions depend on criteria such as the population of the area, the ecological sensitivity, the distance from the shore, and whether the area had been designated as a natural park or wildlife zone.

The latest Rules have a no-development zone of 20 m for all islands close to the mainland coast, and for all backwater islands in the mainland.

For the so-called CRZ-III (Rural) areas, two separate categories have been stipulated.

  1. In the densely populated rural areas (CRZ-IIIA) with a population density of 2,161 per sq km as per the 2011 Census, the no-development zone is 50 m from the high-tide level, as against the 200 m stipulated earlier.
  2. CRZ-IIIB category (rural areas with population density below 2,161 per sq km) areas continue to have a no-development zone extending up to 200 m from the high-tide line.

Implementation:

While the CRZ Rules are made by the Union environment ministry, implementation is to be ensured by state governments through their Coastal Zone Management Authorities.

Sources: Indian Express.

 


Facts for Prelims:


 

Kolkata port renamed:

Centre has renamed the Kolkata Port Trust after Bharatiya Jana Sangh founder Dr Syama Prasad Mookerjee.

Key facts:

  • In the early 16th century, the Portuguese first used the present location of the port to anchor their ships, since they found the upper reaches of the Hooghly river, beyond Kolkata, unsafe for navigation.
  • After the abolition of slavery in the British Empire in 1833, this port was used to ship lakhs of Indians as ‘indentured labourers’ to far-flung territories throughout the Empire.
  • The Kolkata port is the only riverine port in the country, situated 203 km from the sea. The river Hooghly, on which it is located, has many sharp bends, and is considered a difficult navigational channel.
  • The Farakka Barrage, built in 1975, reduced some of the port’s woes as Ganga waters were diverted into the Bhagirathi-Hooghly system.

 

Mission Purvodaya:

  • The Centre unveils Mission Purvodaya to develop eastern region into an integrated steel hub.
  • The eastern belt has the potential to add over 75 percent of the country’s incremental steel capacity envisioned by the National Steel Policy. 
  • Through this programme, the government aims to transform logistics and utilities infrastructure which would change the socio-economic landscape in the eastern India.
  • The steps, under mission, also include growth of steel industry along with employment opportunities across the entire value chain.