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INSIGHTS DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS + PIB SUMMARY- 13 May 2020

current affairs, current events, current gk, insights ias current affairs, upsc ias current affairs

Table of Contents:

GS Paper 2:

1. Supreme Court’s 4G Internet Order.

2. Global Nutrition Report.

 

GS Paper 3:

1. Rajasthan’s Krishi Kalyan fees.

2. Gujarat amends APMC Act.

 

Facts for Prelims:

1. FIR Aapke Dwar.

2. CHAMPIONS portal.

3. New GI tags.

4. About the Gandhi Peace Prize.

5. Counselling Helpline ‘Bharosa’ for Central University of Odisha.

 


GS Paper  : 2


 

Topics Covered: Separation of powers between various organs dispute redressal mechanisms and institutions.

Supreme Court’s 4G Internet Order

What to study?

For Prelims: Overview of the verdict, key constitutional provisions involved.

For Mains: Significance and implications of the verdict, concerns it has raised.

Context: Supreme Court on May 11 refused to restore 4G internet in Union Territory of Jammu & Kashmir.

  • But, the Court has ordered the Centre and Jammu and Kashmir administration to form a committee of Secretaries from MHA and J&K UT Admin to take a call after reviewing the ground security situation.
  • The high-powered Committee headed by the MHA Secretary will also look into the contentions raised by various petitioners.

Important observations made and rationale behind this verdict:

  • There is a need to ensure that national security and human rights are balanced. J&K UT has plunged into crisis, but at the same time there are concerns related to ongoing pandemic and hardships.
  • The bench also referred to its earlier decision in the Anuradha Bhasin case (2020) wherein it ordered review of restrictions placed in J&K in the wake of abrogation of Article 370 of the Constitution.

Background- what’s the issue?

In August 2019, the Central government had suspended all modes of communications in the wake of revocation of Jammu and Kashmir’s special status, granted under Article 370. Eventually, services were partially restored, with internet speed restricted to 2G.

A plea was filed by ‘Foundation for Media Professionals’ for restoration of high-speed internet in Jammu and Kashmir in view of the Covid-19 situation.

But, the administration opposed restoration of 4G services in the union territory. It justified its move in view of protecting the sovereignty, integrity and security of the country.

Criticisms against the internet shutdown:

Restrictions have virtually abrogated the fundamental rights and paralyzed the lives of seven million people in the region.

The shutdown of internet services have severe consequences on business, trade and heavily affect the common people in the region.

What procedure does the government follow to suspend Internet services?

The Information Technology Act, 2000, the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC), 1973 and the Telegraph Act, 1885 are the three laws that deal with suspension of Internet services.

But before 2017, Internet suspension orders were issued under section 144 of the CrPC.

In 2017, the central government notified the Temporary Suspension of Telecom Services (Public Emergency or Public Service) Rules under the Telegraph Act to govern suspension of Internet. These Rules derive their powers from Section 5(2) of the Indian Telegraph Act, which talks about interception of messages in the “interests of the sovereignty and integrity of India”.

Anuradha Bhasin case (2020):

The Court declared that the freedom of speech and expression and the freedom to practice any profession or carry on any trade, business or occupation over the medium of Internet enjoys constitutional protection under Article 19(1)(a) and Article 19(1)(g) respectively.

While such freedom is not absolute, the restrictions imposed on it should be in consonance with the mandate under Article 19(2) and Article 19(6) of the Constitution, inclusive of the test of proportionality.

Sources: the Hindu.

 

Topics Covered: Issues related to health.

Global Nutrition Report

What to study?

For Prelims: Overview of the report and India’s performance.

For Mains: Why malnutrition is on rise? How it can be addressed?

Context: Global Nutrition Report 2020 has been released.

The Global Nutrition Report was conceived following the first Nutrition for Growth Initiative Summit (N4G) in 2013 as a mechanism for tracking the commitments made by 100 stakeholders spanning governments, aid donors, civil society, the UN and businesses.

Where India stands?

  • India is among 88 countries that are likely to miss global nutrition targets by 2025. India is also the country with the highest rates of domestic inequalities in malnutrition.
  • India is identified as among the three worst countries, along with Nigeria and Indonesia, for steep within-country disparities on stunting, where the levels varied four-fold across communities.
  • India will miss targets for all four nutritional indicators for which there is data available, i.e. stunting among under-5 children, anaemia among women of reproductive age, childhood overweight and exclusive breastfeeding.
  • Underweight in India: Between 2000 and 2016, rates of underweight have decreased from 66.0% to 58.1% for boys and 54.2% to 50.1% in girls. However, this is still high compared to the average of 35.6% for boys and 31.8% for girls in Asia.
  • Stunted and wasted:9% of children under 5 years are stunted and 20.8% are wasted, compared to the Asia average of 22.7% and 9.4% respectively.
  • Anaemia: One in two women of reproductive age is anaemic, while at the same time the rate of overweight and obesity continues to rise, affecting almost a fifth of the adults, at 21.6% of women and 17.8% of men.

Global Nutrition Targets:

In 2012, the World Health Assembly identified six nutrition targets for maternal, infant and young child nutrition to be met by 2025.

These require governments to:

  1. reduce stunting by 40% in children under 5 and prevalence of anaemia by 50% among women in the age group of 19-49 years.
  2. ensure 30% reduction in low-birth weight and no increase in childhood overweight.
  3. increase the rate of exclusive breastfeeding in the first six months up to at least 50%.
  4. reduce and maintain childhood wasting to less than 5%.

What causes malnutrition?

The report emphasises on the link between malnutrition and different forms of inequity, such as those based on geographic location, age, gender, ethnicity, education and wealth malnutrition in all its forms.

  • Inequity is a cause of malnutrition — both under-nutrition and overweight, obesity and other diet-related chronic diseases.
  • Inequities in food and health systems exacerbate inequalities in nutrition outcomes that in turn can lead to more inequity, perpetuating a vicious cycle.

Way ahead- need of the hour- suggestions by the report:

  1. Break down silos between malnutrition in all its forms.
  2. Prioritise and invest in the data needed and capacity to use it.
  3. Scale up financing for nutrition – diversify and innovate to build on past progress.
  4. Galvanise action on healthy diets – engage across countries to address this universal problem.
  5. Make and deliver better commitments to end malnutrition in all its forms – an ambitious, transformative approach will be required to meet global nutrition targets.

Gov_Business

Sources: the Hindu.

 


GS Paper  : 3


 

Topics Covered: transport and marketing of agricultural produce and issues and related constraints; e-technology in the aid of farmers.

Rajasthan’s Krishi Kalyan fees

What to study?

For Prelims: Overview of the fees, provisions in this regard.

For Mains: Rationale behind, significance and the concerns associated.

Context: Rajasthan government is levying a 2 per cent Krishak Kalyan fees on agricultural produce brought or bought or sold in mandis.

The fees collected will be deposited in the Krishak Kalyan Kosh — dedicated to the welfare of farmers in the state.

 Background:

Last year, Rajasthan Government had announced the creation of the Krishak Kalyan Kosh.

Accordingly, the government brought in the Rajasthan Agricultural Produce Markets (Amendment) Ordinance, 2020, which was promulgated by the Governor on May 1, amending Section 17 of the Rajasthan Agricultural Produce Market Act, 1961.

 Criticisms:

People associated with agricultural mandis in the state and farmer groups have voiced their opposition to the new cess. Why?

  • Farmer outfits are apprehensive that people at agricultural mandis will pass on the burden of the increased cost to farmers, already reeling by the lockdown imposed due to the coronavirus.
  • It may result in farmers getting less prices for their agricultural produce, traders incurring losses because of people choosing to sell the produce to black marketers, and agriculture produce from Rajasthan being sold outside the state.
  • There is already mandi cess of 1.6 per cent on the produce. This 2 per cent fees will increase it to 3.6 per cent, which is much higher than other states. This increased cess will encourage black marketing.

What the government says?

The government has insisted that the money collected as Krishi Kalyan fees will be spent on the welfare of farmers.

The fee will be a burden neither on the people associated with the mandis nor the farmers. This charge is meant for the next point of sale, after farmers sell their produce.

This money collected will actually benefit them as it will be spent for their welfare. The entire money will be used on ensuring that the farmers get adequate price and providing them other incentives.

Sources: Indian Express.

 

Topics Covered: transport and marketing of agricultural produce and issues and related constraints; e-technology in the aid of farmers.

Gujarat amends APMC Act

What to study?

For Prelims: Overview of the ordinance, key changes.

For Mains: Significance and implications of these changes.

Context: Following the Centre’s directive to States to amend their Agricultural Produce Markets (APMC) Acts, the Gujarat government has promulgated an Ordinance expanding the purview of the Act to include livestock under agricultural produce and to provide better market access to farmers.

Changes and implications:

  1. As per the amendment, the new Act is termed Gujarat Agricultural Produce and Livestock Marketing (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 1963. 
  2. The Act paves the way for establishment of a livestock market.
  3. Also, it seeks to have involvement of local authorities, including panchayati raj institutions who own and operate rural periodical markets such as haats within their area.
  4. Changed Structure of the market committee of a market yard. It is deemed to be of national importance with increased membership from farmers.
  5. A single licence will be applicable to the whole of the State for the traders to be granted or renewed by the Director. The existing trader licences granted by the market committees shall be converted into State wide single trader licence by the Director.
  6. Now, even private entities can set up their own market committees or sub-market yards that can compete and offer the best possible remuneration to farmers for their produce.
  7. The ordinance also restricts the jurisdiction of the market committees to the physical boundaries of their respective marketing yards. They can levy cess only on those transactions, happening within the boundary walls of their marketing yard.

Significance of these changes:

The changes help develop these markets to efficiently function as marketing platform nearest to the farm gate.

They also ensure that the spirit of competition is encouraged and the principle of ‘farmer first’ is kept in mind.

Also, the act removes the conventional involvement of middlemen by allowing farmers to sell their crops in a free market. This is a progressive step towards a more robust farm economy.

Sources: the Hindu.

 


Facts for Prelims


FIR Aapke Dwar:

  • It is a pilot project launched by Madhya Pradesh government.
  • The initiative will see police officials going to homes of victims to register a First Information Report (FIR) than the other way round.
  • Trained head constables in a First Response Vehicle (FRV), a GPS fitted fleet that attends to emergency calls (dial 100), will file the FIR on the spot for non-serious offence. For serious cases, they will consult seniors before taking a call.

CHAMPIONS portal:

Launched by the Union Ministry of MSME.

It is a Technology driven Control Room-Cum-Management Information System.

CHAMPIONS stands for Creation and Harmonious Application of Modern Processes for Increasing the Output and National Strength.

  • It utilises modern ICT tools such as telephone, internet and video conference, and aims to assist Indian MSMEs to march into big league as National and Global CHAMPIONS.
  • It aims to make the smaller units big by providing them various facilities such as solving their grievances, encouraging, supporting, helping and hand holding.

New GI tags:

  • Sohrai Khovar painting is a traditional and ritualistic mural art being practised by local tribal women during local harvest and marriage seasons using local, naturally available soils of different colours in the area of Hazaribagh district of Jharkhand. The style features a profusion of lines, dots, animal figures and plants, often representing religious iconography.

gi_tag

  • Telia Rumal cloth of Telangana involves intricate handmade work with cotton loom displaying a variety of designs and motifs in three particular colours — red, black and white.

telia_rumal

About the Gandhi Peace Prize:

  • Instituted in the year 1995 on the occasion of the 125th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi.
  • This annual award is given to individuals and institutions for their contributions towards social, economic and political transformation through non-violence and other Gandhian methods.
  • The award carries a cash prize of Rs 1 crore, a citation and a Plaque as well as an exquisite traditional handicraft/handloom item.
  • The Award for every year is selected by a Jury under the Chairmanship of the Prime Minister.
  • It is open to all persons regardless of nationality, creed, race or sex.
  • The prize is not awarded posthumously.

Why in News?

Ministry of Culture has extended the nomination period for the Gandhi Peace Prize from 30th April to 15th June 2020, due to the lockdown in the wake of the Covid-19.

Counselling Helpline ‘Bharosa’ for Central University of Odisha:

  • It is a dedicated counselling helpline for the students of Central University of Odisha.
  • The helpline will assist students who are suffering from mental distress and need counselling in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.
  • The helpline will provide mental and psychological assistance to the students, which is especially needed during the COVID-19 pandemic and the challenges that it has posed before the students.

 


Insights Current Affairs Analysis (ICAN) by IAS Topper