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INSIGHTS DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS + PIB SUMMARY- 28 May 2020

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

Table of Contents:

GS Paper 1:

1. Veer Savarkar.

 

GS Paper 2:

1. Governor modifies law on forest rights.

2. Indian Olympic Association.

3. EU unveils €750 billion economy rescue plan.

4. U.S. strips Hong Kong of special trading status.

5. Working Mechanism for Consultation & Coordination on India-China Border Affairs (WMCC).

6. International Day of UN Peacekeepers 2020.

7. New Development Bank.

 

Facts for Prelims:

1. Charru mussel.

2. Operation Warp Speed.

3. MONTENEGRO.

 


GS Paper  : 1


 

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

Veer Savarkar

What to study?

For Prelims and mains: Contributions and role in freedom struggle.

Context: The invitation extended by the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) for inauguration of the Yelahanka flyover sparked off a political controversy with the initial intimation indicating that it would be named after Hindutva ideologue V.D. Savarkar.

Who is Veer Savarkar?

Born on May 28, 1883 in Bhagur, a city in Maharashtra’s Nashik.

Nationalism and social reforms:

  1. In his teenage, Savarkar formed a youth organization. Known as Mitra Mela, this organization was put into place to bring in national and revolutionary ideas.
  2. He was against foreign goods and propagated the idea of Swadeshi. In 1905, he burnt all the foreign goods in a bonfire on Dussehra.
  3. He championed atheism and rationality and also disapproved orthodox Hindu belief. In fact, he even dismissed cow worship as superstitious.
  4. He also Worked on abolishment of untouchability in Ratnagiri. Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar also compared his work to Lord Buddha.
  5. Vinayak Savarkar was a president of Hindu Mahasabha from 1937 to 1943. When congress ministries offered resignation on 22nd oct 1939, Hindu mahaasabha under his leadership cooperated with Muslim league to form government in provinces like Sindh, Bengal and NWFP.
  6. In Pune, Savarkar founded the “Abhinav Bharat Society”.
  7. He was also involved in the Swadeshi movement and later joined Tilak’s Swaraj Party. His instigating patriotic speeches and activities incensed the British Government. As a result, the British Government withdrew his B.A. degree.
  8. He founded the Free India Society. The Society celebrated important dates on the Indian calendar including festivals, freedom movement landmarks, and was dedicated to furthering discussion about Indian freedom.
  9. He believed and advocated the use of arms to free India from the British and created a network of Indians in England, equipped with weapons.

Important works:

  1. In his book, The History of the war of Indian Independence, Savarkar wrote about the guerilla warfare tricks used in 1857 Sepoy Mutiny.
  2. The book was banned by Britishers, but Madam Bhikaji Cama published the book in Netherlands, Germany and France, which eventually reached many Indian revolutionaries.
  3. He was arrested in 1909 on charges of plotting an armed revolt against the Morle-Minto reform.
  4. He founded the two-nation theory in his book ‘Hindutva’ calling Hindus and Muslims two separate nations. In 1937, Hindu Mahasabha passed it as a resolution.
  5. In 2002, Port Blair airport at Andaman and Nicobar’s Island was renamed after Veer Savarkar International Airport.

His call for a modern society:

  1. Savarkar was a modernist, a rationalist and a strong supporter of social reform.
  2. According to Savarkar, our movies should focus on the positives of the country, keep aside the negatives and have pride in its victories. Our youth should be inspired by movies that focus on the positive side of things.
  3. In his presidential address to the annual session of the Hindu Mahasabha held in Calcutta in 1939, Savarkar spoke about how Hindus and Muslims could bury their historical differences in a common Hindustani constitutional state.
  4. Savarkar often called on his supporters to welcome the age of the modern machine.
  5. In an essay published in the magazine Kirloskar, and republished in a book of his essays on the scientific approach, he argued that India would continue to lag behind Europe as long as its leaders believed in superstition rather than science.
  6. He argued that any social reformer who seeks to root out harmful social practices or preach new truths has first of all to compromise his popularity. E.g.: Jesus was killed. Buddha had to face a murderous attack. Mohammad had to flee, was injured in battle, was condemned as a traitor.

Conclusion:

His name evokes controversy. While some consider him as one of the greatest revolutionaries in the Indian freedom struggle, others consider him a communalist and right-wing leader. His controversial position on Hindutva also continues to inform current political debates. It is time that a wider set of scholars began to engage with Savarkar’s ideas—including controversial ones.

veer_savarkar

InstaThink:

Prelims Link:

  1. Who founded Mitra mela, Abhinav Bharat Society and Free India society, what are the objectives?
  2. Books written by Savarkar?
  3. Savarkar’s book which was published by Madam Bikaji Cama?
  4. Morley- Minto reforms- key changes.
  5. Savarkar’s views on use of arms to free India.
  6. Hindu Mahasabha- key achievements.

Mains Link:

Discuss Veer Savarkar’s contributions to social reforms in the country.

Sources: the Hindu.

 


GS Paper  : 2


 

Topics Covered: Parliament and State Legislatures – structure, functioning, conduct of business, powers & privileges and issues arising out of these.

Governor modifies law on forest rights

What to study?

For Prelims: 5th Schedule area, powers of governors.

For Mains: Significance of this schedule, challenges and ways to address them.

 Context: Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari has modified the Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act, 2006, allowing rightful claimants of forest rights to appeal against decisions of the district level committee (DLC).

The Governor has modified Section 6 of the Act, in its application to Scheduled Area of the State of Maharashtra, in exercise of the powers conferred on him by Schedule V of the Constitution.

 Significance:

  • The notification is important to provide justice to tribals whose ‘individual or community forest right’ has been rejected by the DLC, constituted under the Forest Rights Act (FRA).
  • The notification applies to areas covered in the Panchayats (Extension to Scheduled Areas) Act in the State and allows appeal provision against the DLC’s decision.
  • The notification states that divisional level committees under the chairmanship of divisional commissioners have been constituted to hear the appeals against the DLC’s decisions. In the case of an order passed by the DLC before commencement of the notification, the appeal needs to be made within six months. However, if an order has been passed after commencement of the notification, the application has to be made within 90 days.

Criticisms:

Activists, however, are concerned that this will lead to further delays in implementation of forest laws. They say the notification is a double-edged sword. A tribal farmer will find it difficult to go to the district headquarters. They fear this committee will further delay implementation of FRA. Delay means denial of justice and increased scope for fake claims.

What is 5th schedule?

The Fifth Schedule of the Constitution deals with the administration and control of Scheduled Areas as well as of Scheduled Tribes residing in any State other than the States of Assam, Meghalaya, Tripura and Mizoram.

Special Provisions for Fifth Schedule Areas:

  1. The Governor of each State having Scheduled Areas (SA) shall annually, or whenever so required by the President, make a report to the President regarding the administration of Scheduled Areas in that State.
  2. The Union Government shall have executive powers to give directions to the States as to the administration of the Scheduled Areas.
  3. Para 4 of the Fifth Schedule provides for establishment of a Tribes Advisory Council (TAC) in any State having Scheduled Areas.
  4. Composition: Consisting of not more than twenty members of whom, three-fourths shall be the representatives of the Scheduled Tribes in the Legislative Assembly of the State. If the number of representatives of the STs in the Legislative Assembly of the State is less than the number of seats in the TAC to be filled by such representatives, the remaining seats shall be filled by other members of those Tribes.
  5. Functions: The TAC shall advise on such matters pertaining to the welfare and the advancement of the STs in the State as may be referred to them by the Governor.

The Governor may make rules prescribing or regulating:

  1. The number of members of the Council, the mode of their appointment and the appointment of the Chairman of the Council and of the officers and servants thereof, the conduct of its meetings and its procedure in general.
  2. The Governor may, by public notification, direct that any particular Act of Parliament or of the Legislature of the State shall or shall not apply to a SA or any part thereof in the State, subject to such exceptions and modifications, as specified.
  3. The Governor may make regulations for the peace and good government of any area in the State which is for the time being a SA. Such regulations may prohibit or restrict the transfer of land by or among members of the Scheduled tribes in such area; regulate the allotment of land to members of the STs in such area.
  4. In making such regulations, the Governor may repeal or amend any Act of Parliament or of Legislature of the State or any existing law after obtaining assent of the President.

 InstaThink:

Prelims Link:

  1. Difference between 5th and 6th schedule of Indian Constitution.
  2. Powers of governor under 5th
  3. Who can include or exclude areas under 5th
  4. What are scheduled areas?
  5. Forest Rights Act- key provisions.
  6. TAC- composition and functions.

 Sources: the Hindu.

 

Topics Covered: Statutory, regulatory and various quasi-judicial bodies.

Indian Olympic Association

What to study?

For Prelims and Mains: IOA- composition and functions.

Context: Indian Olympic Association has constituted an 11-member committee, led by Athletics Federation of India president Adille Sumariwala, to monitor annual grant and affiliation fee of its members for the 2020-2021 cycle.

About IOA:

Indian Olympic Association is the governing body for the Olympic Movement and the Commonwealth Games in India.

It is an affiliated member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF), Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) and Association of National Olympic Committees (ANOC).

Recognised by the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports.

 Functions:

  • Administers various aspects of sports governance and athletes’ welfare in the country.
  • Oversees the representation of athletes or teams participating in the Olympic Games, Commonwealth Games, Asian Games and other international multi-sport competitions of IOC, CGF, OCA and ANOC.

Foundation:

The IOA was established in the year 1927 with Sir Dorabji Tata and Dr. A.G. Noehren as the Founding President and Secretary General respectively. It is registered as a Non-Profit Organisation under the Societies Registration Act of 1860.

Composition:

The members of IOA include National Sports Federations, State Olympic Associations, IOC Members and other select multi-sport organisations.

Governance:

The Indian Olympic Association is currently governed by a 32-member Executive Council. The election for the Executive Council is held once in every 4 years.

Sources: pib.

 

Topics Covered: Effect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries on India’s interests, Indian diaspora.

EU unveils €750 billion economy rescue plan

What to study?

For Prelims: Particulars of the plan.

For Mains: Significance of the plan, challenges remaining, implications.

Context: The European Union (EU)’s executive unveiled a €750 billion plan to prop up economies hammered by the coronavirus crisis.

The recovery fund package comes in addition to the EU’s long-term budget for 2021-27, which the Commission proposed should be set at €1.100 trillion ($1.21 trillion).

Details of the plan:

  1. Under the proposal, the European Commission would borrow the funds from the market and then disburse two-thirds in grants and the rest in loans to cushion the unprecedented slump expected this year due to the coronavirus lockdowns.
  2. This additional funding will be channelled through EU programmes and repaid over a long period of time throughout future EU budgets – not before 2028 and not after 2058. 
  3. In addition, in order to make funds available as soon as possible to respond to the most pressing needs, the Commission proposes to amend the current multiannual financial framework 2014-2020 to make an additional 11.5 billion euro in funding available already in 2020.

Why this is needed?

Economies are in freefall now. If not rescued, they risk something worse than their divisive debt crisis of a decade ago, which fanned euroscepticism and threatened to pull the eurozone apart.

The grants, although controversial, are needed because Italy, Spain, Greece, France and Portugal already have high debt and rely heavily on tourism, which was halted by the pandemic.

InstaThink:

Prelims Link:

  1. EU vs Eurozone.
  2. Important institutions of EU.
  3. What is European Parliament?
  4. What is European Council?
  5. European Commission.
  6. Functions of European Central Bank.

Sources: the Hindu.

 

Topics Covered: Effect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries on India’s interests, Indian diaspora.

U.S. strips Hong Kong of special trading status

What to study?

For Prelims: Hong Kong’s status with China, what is special status?

For Mains: Implications of this move, significance and challenges ahead.

Context: The United States has declared that it no longer considers Hong Kong autonomous from China, a move that could result in loss of Hong Kong’s special trading status with the US and threaten its standing as an international financing hub.

What’s the issue?

Until now the US has given Hong Kong – a global financial and trading hub – special status under US law. The provision dates from when the territory was a British colony and gives it favourable trading terms. However, with the US State Department certifying Hong Kong as no longer autonomous from China, the US Congress, under the last year’s Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act, can revoke Hong Kong’s special trading status which means the former British colony will be treated the same as mainland China for trade and other purposes.

What would losing it mean for Hong Kong?

An estimated $38 billion in trade between Hong Kong and the U.S. could be jeopardized. Longer term, people might have a second thought about raising money or doing business in Hong Kong.

Implications:

  • Any sanctions or move to rescind the special status would further strain the relationship between the U.S. and China, already under pressure from the coronavirus pandemic, the Hong Kong protests, an ongoing trade war and other issues.
  • In addition to the annual review of Hong Kong’s trading status, the new law requires the president to freeze U.S.-based assets of, and deny entry to the U.S. by, any individuals found responsible for abducting and torturing human rights activists in Hong Kong. Such sanctions could come sooner than a suspension of the trading status, and would obviously complicate things further.

InstaThink:

Prelims Link:

  1. Regions under “One country Two systems” rule.
  2. When was Hong Kong handed over to China by UK?
  3. How Hong Kong became a part of UK?
  4. Where is pearl river?
  5. What is Kowloon peninsula?
  6. Neighbouring regions of Hong Kong.

Sources: the Hindu.

 

Topics Covered: India and its neighbourhood- relations.

Working Mechanism for Consultation & Coordination on India-China Border Affairs (WMCC)

What to study?

For Prelims and Mains: WMCC- composition, objectives and functions.

Context: India and China have activated the “working mechanism” at the diplomatic level.

This has been activated alongside the military-to-military conversation taking place at the field level to “dis-engage” and “de-escalate” the situation.

About WMCC:

The WMCC was established in 2012 as an institutional mechanism for consultation and coordination for management of India – China border areas, as well as to exchange views on strengthening communication and cooperation, including between the border security personnel of the two sides.

Composition: It is headed by joint secretary-level officials from both sides. They are entrusted to help the special representative for boundary talks, a position currently held by NSA Ajit Doval.

What’s happening now?

India’s assessment is that the Chinese are involved in what is known in military parlance as “holding the line”. While there is no agreed Line of Actual Control (LAC), both Chinese and Indian troops patrol up to their “claim lines” and then return.

In the current situation, it appears that the Chinese have crossed their perception of LAC and are now camping at the spot in a bid to “hold the line”. This “holding the line” tactic is backed by a large number of Chinese troops — much more than ordinary patrols, which is usually has 25-30 soldiers. This appears to give the impression that the Chinese are keen to dig their heels in.

Sources: pib.

 

Topics Covered: Important International institutions, agencies and fora, their structure, mandate.

International Day of UN Peacekeepers 2020

What to study?

For Prelims and Mains: About UN Peacekeeping- need, significance, challenges and operations in place.

Context: International Day of UN Peacekeepers 2020 will be observed on May 29.

The theme for this year’s Day is “Women in Peacekeeping: A Key to Peace” to help mark the 20th anniversary of the adoption of UN Security Council Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security.

Why may 29?

The first UN peacekeeping mission was established on 29th May 1948, when the Security Council authorized the deployment of a small number of UN military observers to the Middle East.

What is peacekeeping? It’s significance?

United Nations Peacekeeping is a joint effort between the Department of Peace Operations and the Department of Operational Support.

Every peacekeeping mission is authorized by the Security Council. The financial resources of UN Peacekeeping operations are the collective responsibility of UN Member States. According to UN Charter every Member State is legally obligated to pay their respective share for peacekeeping. 

Composition:

UN peacekeepers (often referred to as Blue Berets or Blue Helmets because of their light blue berets or helmets) can include soldiers, police officers, and civilian personnel. Peacekeeping forces are contributed by member states on a voluntary basis.  Civilian staff of peace operations are international civil servants, recruited and deployed by the UN Secretariat.

 Features:

  • United Nations Peacekeeping helps countries torn by conflict create conditions for lasting peace.
  • Peacekeeping has unique strengths, including legitimacy, burden sharing, and an ability to deploy and sustain troops and police from around the globe, integrating them with civilian peacekeepers to advance multidimensional mandates.

UN Peacekeeping is guided by three basic principles:

  • Consent of the parties.
  • Impartiality
  • Non-use of force except in self-defence and defence of the mandate.

army

Global partnership:

UN peacekeeping is a unique global partnership. It brings together the General Assembly, the Security Council, the Secretariat, troop and police contributors and the host governments in a combined effort to maintain international peace and security.

Insta Links:

Prelims Link:

  1. Who funds peacekeeping operations?
  2. Role of UNSC.
  3. Composition of Peacekeepers?
  4. Why peacekeepers are called as Blue Helmets?
  5. Guiding principles of UN peacekeeping.
  6. Ongoing peacekeeping missions.

Mains Link:

Write a note on UN Peacekeeping and its significance.

Sources: AIR.

 

Topics Covered: Important International institutions, agencies and fora, their structure, mandate.

New Development Bank

What to study?

For Prelims and Mains: NDB- roles, composition, objectives and functions.

Context: Union Minister of Finance & Corporate Affairs Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman attended the Special Board of Governors meeting of the New Development Bank (NDB) through video-conference.

The agenda included the election of next President of NDB, appointment of Vice-President and Chief Risk Officer and membership expansion.

About the New Development Bank:

It is a multilateral development bank operated by the BRICS states (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa).

  • The New Development Bank was agreed to by BRICS leaders at the 5th BRICS summit held in Durban, South Africa in 2013.
  • It was established in 2014, at the 6th BRICS Summit at Fortaleza, Brazil.
  • The bank is set up to foster greater financial and development cooperation among the five emerging markets.
  • In the Fortaleza Declaration, the leaders stressed that the NDB will strengthen cooperation among BRICS and will supplement the efforts of multilateral and regional financial institutions for global development.

The bank will be headquartered in Shanghai, China.

Voting:

Unlike the World Bank, which assigns votes based on capital share, in the New Development Bank each participant country will be assigned one vote, and none of the countries will have veto power.

Roles and functions:

The New Development Bank will mobilise resources for infrastructure and sustainable development projects in BRICS and other emerging economies and developing countries, to supplement existing efforts of multilateral and regional financial institutions for global growth and development.

InstaThink:

Prelims Link:

  1. NDB- members and voting powers.
  2. Where it can invest?
  3. Which are the NDB funded projects in India?
  4. Fortaleza declaration is related to?
  5. When was NDB established?

Mains Link:

Discuss the objectives and significance of NDB.

Sources: pib

 


Facts for Prelims


Charru mussel:

  • It is an invasive mussel native to the South and Central American coasts.
  • It is now spreading quickly in the backwaters of Kerala, elbowing out other mussel and clam species and threatening the livelihoods of fishermen engaged in molluscan fisheries.
  • The rapid spread may have been triggered by Cyclone Ockhi which struck the region in 2017.
  • Externally, the Charru mussel resembles the green and brown mussels (kallummekkaya in Malayalam), but is much smaller in size. Its colour varies from black to brown, purple or dark green.

charru_musel

Operation Warp Speed:

  • It is a public–private partnership, initiated by the Federal Government of the United States, to facilitate and accelerate the development of COVID-19 vaccines, therapeutics, and diagnostics.
  • It is an interagency program that includes components of the Department of Health, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the National Institutes of Health and private firms.

MONTENEGRO:

Montenegro is the first country in Europe to declare itself coronavirus-free.

Montenegro is a country of South and Southeast Europe on the coast of the Balkans.

It borders Bosnia-Herzegovina to the northwest, Serbia to the northeast, Kosovo to the east, Albania to the southeast, the Adriatic Sea to the southwest, and Croatia to the west.

montenegro

Articles already covered:

Locust threat is bigger this year, warns monitor.

 


Insights Current Affairs Analysis (ICAN) by IAS Topper