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INSIGHTS DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS + PIB SUMMARY- 1 April 2020

Table of Contents:

GS Paper 1:

1. What is Tablighi Jamaat?

 

GS Paper 2:

1. Punjab Village and Small Towns Act.

 

GS Paper 3:

1. Ways And Means Advances .

2. SunRISE mission.

 

Facts for Prelims:

1. Bear bile.

2. Sodium hypochlorite.

 

PIB one liner facts.

 


GS Paper  : 1


 

Topics Covered: Indian culture will cover the salient aspects of Art Forms, Literature and Architecture from ancient to modern times. Salient features of Indian Society, Diversity of India.

What is Tablighi Jamaat?

What to study?

For Prelims: Key features of the event, its purpose and how is it carried out?

For Mains: What impact has it had on the spread of Corona Virus, how it should have been handled and standard measures to be put in place to monitor such events in future.

Why in News?

Over 200 have tested positive for COVID-19 from among 4,000-odd who had gathered in Delhi’s Markaz Nizamuddin, the headquarters of the Tablighi Jamaat.

What is Tablighi Jamaat?

Literally, it means a society for spreading the faith. It is a conservative Muslim organisation.

It is a Sunni Islamic missionary movement. The aim is to reach out to ordinary Muslims and revive their faith, particularly in matters of ritual, dress, and personal behaviour.

It has significant base in various countries including Bangladesh, Pakistan, United States, Britain, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Singapore.

How did the movement begin?

Launched by prominent Islamic scholar Maulana Muhammad Ilyas Khandhalaw in 1926 in Mewat (Haryana).

Its roots lie in the Deobandi version of the Hanafi school of jurisprudence.

Maulana Ilyaz trained several young men from Deoband and Saharanpur and sent them to Mewat, where the Tablighi Jamaat established a network of madrasas and Mosque.

The Tablighi Jamaat is based on six principles:

  1. Kalimah, an article of faith in which the Tabligh accepts that there is no God but Allah and that Prophet Muhammad is his messenger.
  2. Salaat, or prayer five times daily.
  3. Ilm and dhikr, the knowledge and remembrance of Allah conducted in sessions in which the congregation listens to preaching by the imam, performs prayers, recites the Quran and reads the Hadith; the congregation also uses these sessions to dine together, thus fostering a sense of community and identity.
  4. Ikram-i-Muslim, the treatment of fellow Muslims with honour.
  5. Ikhlas-i-niyat, or sincerity of intention.
  6. Dawat-o-tabligh, or proselytisaton.

Its scope:

It is estimated that the organisation has somewhere between 70-80 million followers across the world, which makes it the biggest Muslim movement in the world. In fact, outside of the Hajj, it is believed that its annual meetings in countries, including Pakistan, Bangladesh and India, bring together the largest congregations of Muslims.

What’s the criticism wrt its functioning?

While the scope of the organisation seems to be limited to spreading the Muslim faith, the group has at times been accused of having ties to radical outfits, who, as per some observers, could take advantage of its loose organisational structure. Besides, they also don’t publish the scope of their activities, their membership or source of their finances, though it is believed they do not rely on donations and are largely financed by their senior members.

Sources: Indian Express.

 


GS Paper  : 2


 

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

Punjab Village and Small Towns Act

What to study?

For Prelims: Overview and key provisions of the law.

For Mains: Criticisms surrounding and ways to address them.

 Why in News?

This British-era law was recently invoked in Panchkula to curtail movement during lockdown.

Deputy Commissioner of Panchkula has passed an order under section 3 of this Act and has declared that all able-bodied male inhabitants of the villages be liable to be on patrol duty both during the day and night.

The aim of the patrol in the present case is to keep a watch on people entering villages without a valid pass and to make sure villagers follow social distancing norms.

What is the law?

The law was first enacted in 1918 in erstwhile Punjab to make provisions for nightly patrol duty by inhabitants of small villages and towns in cases of emergency.

Implementation:

Under this Act, if the Deputy Commissioner of a district in Punjab or Haryana is of the opinion that in a village, special measures need to be taken to secure public safety, he has the power to make an order requiring all “able-bodied adult male inhabitants” to patrol the village.

The time period of the applicability of the order is up to the Deputy Commissioner and the maximum time period is up to one year.

The Deputy Commissioner shall have power to alter the number of persons required for patrol duty and the method of their selection, and shall inform the village panchayat of his decision.

Penalty and punishment:

Those who do not follow the provisions will be liable under sections 9 and 11 of the Act, which means they may have to pay a fine imposed by the village panchayat or a fine imposed by the deputy commissioner, not exceeding Rs 100.

Sources: Indian Express.

 


GS Paper  : 2


 

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

Ways And Means Advances

What to study?

For Prelims and Mains: WMA- meaning, features and significance.

Context: The Reserve Bank of India has raised the limit for short term credit that the government can borrow from the central bank.

The limits for this credit facility, known as ‘Ways and Means Advances’, has been raised sharply to Rs 1.2 lakh crore for the first half of 2020-21.

Significance of this move:

The increased limit comes at a time when government expenditure is expected to rise as it battles the fallout of a spreading Coronavirus. The availability of these funds will government some room to undertake short term expenditure over and above its long term market borrowings.

What are Ways and Means Advances?

  • They are temporary loan facilities provided by RBI to the government to enable it to meet temporary mismatches between revenue and expenditure.
  • The government makes an interest payment to the central bank when it borrows money.
  • The rate of interest is the same as the repo rate, while the tenure is three months.
  • The limits for WMA are mutually decided by the RBI and the Government of India.

Background:

The WMA scheme for the Central Government was introduced on April 1, 1997, after putting an end to the four-decade old system of adhoc (temporary) Treasury Bills to finance the Central Government deficit.

What if the government needs extra money for extra time?

When the WMA limit is crossed the government takes recourse to overdrafts, which are not allowed beyond 10 consecutive working days.

The interest rate on overdrafts would be 2 percent more than the repo rate.

Types of WMA:

There are two types of Ways and Means Advances — normal and special.

Special WMA or Special Drawing Facility is provided against the collateral of the government securities held by the state. After the state has exhausted the limit of SDF, it gets normal WMA. The interest rate for SDF is one percentage point less than the repo rate.

The number of loans under normal WMA is based on a three-year average of actual revenue and capital expenditure of the state.

Sources: the Hindu.

 

Topics Covered: Awareness in space.

SunRISE mission

What to study?

For Prelims and Mains: Overview and significance of the mission.

Context: NASA has selected a new mission to study how the Sun generates and releases giant space weather storms – known as solar particle storms – into planetary space.

Overview of the mission- the Sun Radio Interferometer Space Experiment (SunRISE):

It is an array of six CubeSats operating as one very large radio telescope.

NASA has awarded $62.6 million to design, build and launch SunRISE by no earlier than July 1, 2023.

Objectives of the mission:

  1. To study how the Sun creates and releases giant solar particle storms.
  2. To help scientists understand the workings of the Solar System.

 How it works?

The mission design relies on six solar-powered CubeSats to simultaneously observe radio images of low-frequency emission from solar activity and share them via NASA’s Deep Space Network.

  • The constellation of CubeSats would fly within 6 miles of each other, above Earth’s atmosphere, which otherwise blocks the radio signals SunRISE will observe.
  • Together, the six CubeSats will create 3D maps to pinpoint where giant particle bursts originate on the Sun and how they evolve as they expand outward into space.
  • This, in turn, will help determine what initiates and accelerates these giant jets of radiation.
  • The six individual spacecraft will also work together to map, for the first time, the pattern of magnetic field lines reaching from the Sun out into interplanetary space.

Why study solar particle storms?

This information will help improve understanding of how our solar system works.

It can help protect astronauts traveling to the Moon and Mars by providing better information on how the Sun’s radiation affects the space environment they must travel through.

Background:

NASA had chosen two missions in August 2017 for its Mission of Opportunity program, a part of its Explorers Program, to conduct an 11-month concept study. The SunRise mission was one of the two missions.

Sources: NASA.

 


Facts for Prelims


Bear bile:

  • For treating severe and critical cases of COVID-19, Chinese government has recommended an injection of Tan Re Qing, which contains bear bile.
  • The use of bear bile in Chinese medicine dates back at least 1,300 years. Bile is secreted by the liver and stored in the gall bladder.
  • Bile from bears tends to be high in ursodeoxycholic acid, also known as ursodiol, which is helpful in dissolving gallstones and treating liver disease.

 

Sodium hypochlorite:

  • Sodium hypochlorite is commonly used as a bleaching agent, and also to sanitise swimming pools.
  • It releases chlorine, which is a disinfectant. Large quantities of chlorine can be harmful.
  • At a much lower 0.25-0.5%, this chemical is used to treat skin wounds like cuts or scrapes. An even weaker solution (0.05%) is sometimes used as a handwash.
  • It is corrosive and is meant largely to clean hard surfaces. It is not recommended to be used on human beings.
  • A 1% solution can cause damage to the skin of anyone who comes in contact with it. If it gets inside the body, it can cause serious harm to lungs.

Why in News?

In Uttar Pradesh, migrant workers travelling to their home states, or their belongings, were sprayed with a disinfectant containing sodium hypochlorite, apparently to sanitise them.

 


PIB one liner facts


  1. Present Foreign Trade Policy (FTP) which came into force on 1stApril, 2015, is for 5 years and has validity upto 31st March, 2020. The Govt. has decided to continue relief under various export promotion schemes by granting extension of the existing Foreign Trade Policy by another one year i.e. up to 31stMarch, 2021.
  2. The Eight Core Industries comprise 40.27 per cent of the weight of items included in the Index of Industrial Production (IIP).
  3. Ministry of Tourism has launched “Stranded in India”, a portal aimed to support foreign tourists. The portal aims to disseminate information to the foreign tourists stuck far away from their homeland amidst COVID-19 threats and Lock Down.

Insights Current Affairs Analysis (ICAN) by IAS Topper