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INSIGHTS DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS + PIB SUMMARY- 24 June 2020

InstaLinks help you think beyond the issue but relevant to the issue from UPSC prelims and Mains exam point of view. These linkages provided in this ‘hint’ format help you frame possible questions in your mind that might arise(or an examiner might imagine) from each current event. InstaLinks also connect every issue to their static or theoretical background. This helps you study a topic holistically and add new dimensions to every current event to help you think analytically.

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

Table of Contents:

GS Paper 1:

1. Who was Chaolung Sukapha?

2. Variyamkunnath Kunjahammed Haji.

3. What is victory day?

 

GS Paper 2:

1. Sec 309 IPC.

2. Patanjali Coronavirus (Covid-19) Medicine.

 

GS Paper 3:

1. International Comparison Program.

2. Country of Origin in GeM platform.

 

Facts for Prelims:

1. YUKTI 2.0.

2. Gaia hypothesis.

3. Blazars

 


GS Paper  : 1


 

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

Who was Chaolung Sukapha?

Why in News?

Assam Chief Minister has ordered the arrest of a Kolkata-based political commentator, Garga Chatterjee, who had described Chaolung Sukapha as a “Chinese invader”.

About Sukapha:

  • He was a 13th-century ruler who founded the Ahom kingdom that ruled Assam for six centuries. Contemporary scholars trace his roots to Burma.
  • He is widely referred to as the architect of “Bor Asom” or “greater Assam”.
  • Sukapha is said to have left a place called Maulung in AD 1215 with eight nobles and 9,000 men, women and children — mostly men.
  • It was in Charaideo that Sukapha established his first small principality, sowing the seeds of further expansion of the Ahom kingdom.
  • The founders of the Ahom kingdom had their own language and followed their own religion. Over the centuries, the Ahoms accepted the Hindu religion and the Assamese language.
  • To commemorate Sukapha and his rule, Assam celebrates “Asom Divas” on December 2 every year.

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. Who are Ahoms?
  2. Sukapha- How he expanded his territory?
  3. Significance of Asom Divas.
  4. Geographical location of Assam and neighbouring states.
  5. Where was Maulung?

Mains Link:

Write a note on Chaolung Sukapha and his contributions to the Ahom community.

Chaolung_Sukapha

Sources: Indian Express.

 

Topics Covered:  The Freedom Struggle – its various stages and important contributors /contributions from different parts of the country.

Variyamkunnath Kunjahammed Haji

Context:

Freedom fighter Variyamkunnath Kunjahammed Haji‘s life is set to be portrayed on the silver screen, in a project starring Malayalam actor Prithviraj Sukumaran.

Who was Variyamkunnath Kunjahammed Haji?

  • Born in 1870s, he was a brave freedom fighter who stood up to the British in Kerala’s Malabar region in early 20th century and even established a short-lived regime of his own.
  • His father, Moideenkutty Haji, was deported and jailed in the Andaman Islands for his participation in a rebellion against the British. Such personal incidents, very early on in his life, played an important role in lighting the fire of vengeance inside Kunjahammed.
  • He used art as an instrument to rally the locals against the British.
  • He promised support the Indian National Congress and Khilafat movement against the atrocities of the British and the landlords.
  • Haji was aware of the strength of Hindu-Muslim unity and ensured people of other faiths were given adequate security.

Causes of the 1921 rebellion:

  • When Haji got the news that his countryman and Khilafat leader Ali Musaliyar was arrested at Tirurangadi and the mosque has been looted and some police officers killed in the ensuing fight, Haji decided to take arms against the British and arranged a band of army with the help of some sepoys who enthusiastically rallied behind him.
  • He ensured that the movement had a secular character. But at the same time, he targeted all those who helped the British, be they Hindu or Muslim.

Outcomes:

  1. As the rebellion helmed by the Haji and others began to spread across the Ernad and Valluvanad taluks of erstwhile Malabar district, British officers and the local police loyal to them escaped, leaving vast tracts of territory firmly under the control of the local rebels. The territory was declared an ‘independent state’ in August 1921 with Haji its undisputed ruler.
  2. For nearly six months, Haji ran a parallel Khilafat regime headquartered in Nilambur, with even its own separate passport, currency and system of taxation.
  3. During the time, an extensive army with the participation of Hindu men was built with the express aim of thwarting any attempt by the British to overthrow the Khilafat rule.
  4. Tenants were granted the power over the lands they cultivated along with tax incentives.

How his rule came to an end?

The rule did not last long. In January 1922, under the guise of a treaty, the British betrayed Haji through his close friend Unyan Musaliyar, arresting him from his hideout and producing him before a British judge. He was sentenced to death along with his compatriots.

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. Who was Haji?
  2. What was the 1921 Malabar rebellion all about?
  3. How he established his own independent state and ruled it?
  4. What is Khilafat Movement?
  5. Outcomes of Khilafat movement.

Mains Link:

Who was Variyamkunnath Kunjahammed Haji? How he stood up to the British in Malabar region in 1921? Discuss the outcomes of the rebellion.

Variyamkunnath_Kunjahammed_Haji

Sources: Indian Express.

 

Topics Covered: History of the world will include events from 18th century such as industrial revolution, world wars, redrawing of national boundaries, colonization, decolonization, political philosophies like communism, capitalism, socialism etc.- their forms and effect on the society.

What is victory day?

Context:

Russia, on June 24th, celebrated 75th Victory Day, with a military parade that was meant to be held on 9 May (Postponed because of COVID pandemic).

What is Victory Day?

Victory Day marks the end of World War II and the victory of the Allied Forces in 1945.

Adolf Hitler had shot himself on April 30. On May 7, German troops surrendered, which was formally accepted the next day, and came into effect on May 9.

In most European countries, it is celebrated on May 8, and is called the Victory in Europe Day.

Why does Russia not celebrate Victory Day on the same date?

This is because the instrument of surrender signed on May 7 stipulated that all hostilities would cease at 23:01 Berlin Time on May 8 and, as time in Moscow was an hour ahead, this would push the ceasefire into May 9.

  1. An initial document was signed in Reims, France on May 7.
  2. But, Russia argued that some German troops considered the Reims instrument a surrender to the Western allies only and that fighting continued in eastern Europe, especially in Prague.
  3. Therefore, Soviet Union demanded another signing.
  4. A second surrender ceremony then took place in a manor on the outskirts of Berlin late on May 8, when it was already May 9 in Moscow.
  5. Both texts stipulated that forces under German control were to cease operations at 11:01pm Berlin Time.

Therefore, in the eyes of the Soviet Union, the head of Germany’s armed forces surrendered personally to Joseph Stalin’s representative on May 9 and the instrument of surrender was signed in the early hours of that day.

Is the June 24 date particularly significant?

The celebrations this year were pushed to June because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Nevertheless, June 24th is also significant for Russia.

  • After winning the war and having its own Victory Day on May 9, Stalin wanted to commemorate the victory with a military parade On June 24, 1945 in commemoration of the victory over Germany in the Great Patriotic War.
  • Hence the first Victory Day Parade took place on June 24 in Moscow.

However, since then, the Victory Day Parades have taken place on May 9.

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. Axis and Allied powers.
  2. Reasons for the WW2.
  3. Outcomes of WW2.
  4. Why Victory Day celebration dates differ across the world?
  5. Why Russia Chose May 9th?

Mains Link:

Write a note Victory Day celebrated by Russia.

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.

Sec 309 IPC

Context:

India has the highest suicide rate in the South-East Asian region, according to the World Health Organization report released last year.

  • India’s suicide rate is at 16.5 suicides per 100,000 people.
  • India also had the third-highest female suicide rate (14.7) in the world.

Suicide was decriminalised in India in 2017, but Section 309 of the Indian Penal Code still stays. 

Who can be booked under Section 309 IPC? What punishment does it carry?

Anyone who survives an attempted suicide can be booked under Section 309 IPC, which deals with “Attempt to commit suicide”.

The law, brought in by the British in the 19th century, reflected the thinking of the time, when killing or attempting to kill oneself was considered a crime against the state, as well as against religion.

Was it repealed?

No. The section continues to remain in the IPC.

What has happened though, is that The Mental Healthcare Act (MHCA), 2017, which came into force in July 2018, has significantly reduced the scope for the use of Section 309 IPC — and made the attempt to commit suicide punishable only as an exception.

  1. Section 115(1) of The MHCA says: “Notwithstanding anything contained in section 309 of the Indian Penal Code any person who attempts to commit suicide shall be presumed, unless proved otherwise, to have severe stress and shall not be tried and punished under the said Code.”

Role and responsibility of the government:

Section 115(2) says that “The appropriate Government shall have a duty to provide care, treatment and rehabilitation to a person, having severe stress and who attempted to commit suicide, to reduce the risk of recurrence of attempt to commit suicide.”

Concerns and issues associated with this section:

  1. Use of this Section can potentially deprive a victim of treatment in the golden hour, as hospitals wait for a go-ahead from police in what would be seen as a “medico-legal case”.
  2. It is possible that unscrupulous hospital authorities may misuse this situation and charge extra to “hush up” the case by not informing the police; similar extortion is possible on the part of corrupt police personnel as well.
  3. All of this is in addition to the trauma and harassment that an already severely distressed individual and people around him/her would likely be going through.

Arguments in favour of Section 309: why it should be retained?

There are occasions when people show up at government offices and threaten to kill themselves if their demands are not met. It is in these cases, where police suspect that the person does not intend to commit suicide but is using the threat as a way to unfairly pressure or blackmail the system. And during such instances this section need to be used.

If 309 is repealed, there will be no provision to take action against those who intend to create trouble of this sort.

Need of the hour:

Section 309 IPC can be redefined in such a manner where it can still be leveraged in law and order situations, and not be used against those who are suffering from genuine mental health issues.

Observations made by the Supreme Court and Law Commissions:

In ‘Gian Kaur vs State of Punjab’, 1996, a Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court upheld the constitutional validity of Section 309.

In 1971, the Law Commission in its 42nd Report recommended the repeal of Section 309 IPC. The IPC (Amendment) Bill, 1978, was even passed by Rajya Sabha, but before it could be passed by Lok Sabha, Parliament was dissolved, and the Bill lapsed.

In 2008, the Law Commission in its 210th Report, said that an attempt to suicide needed medical and psychiatric care, and not punishment.

In March 2011, the Supreme Court too recommended to Parliament that it should consider the feasibility of deleting the section.

Quote:

Sociologist Emile Durkheim had famously hypothesised that ‘suicides are a result of not just psychological or emotional factors but social factors as well’.

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. Who can be booked under Section 309 of IPC?
  2. Key provisions of the Mental Healthcare Act (MHCA), 2017.
  3. Law Commission- constitution and composition.
  4. Section 115of MHCA.

Mains Link:

In recent years, suicide cases have received alarming attention, for they account for the majority of India’s health burden. Critically analyse the high suicide death rate in the country and how India is responding to this challenge?

decriminalizing

Sources: Indian Express.

 

Topics Covered: Important aspects of governance, transparency and accountability.

Patanjali Coronavirus (Covid-19) Medicine:

Context:

Yoga guru Ramdev’s Patanjali Ayurved Ltd has launched what they claimed was the first Ayurvedic medicine to cure Covid-19.

 About the medicine:

Ramdev has claimed that ‘Coronil tablet’, ‘Swasari Vati’ and ‘Anu Taila’ had shown “100 per cent favourable results” during clinical trials on Covid-19 patients.

What next?

The AYUSH Ministry has sought details about the medicine and has directed Patanjali and Ramdev to stop advertising such claims.

The concerned Ayurvedic drug manufacturing company has been informed that such advertisements of drugs including Ayurvedic medicines are regulated under the provisions of Drugs and Magic Remedies (Objectionable Advertisements) Act, 1954 and Rules thereunder and the directives issued by the Central Government in the wake of COVID outbreak. 

Overview of the Drugs and Magic Remedies (Objectionable Advertisements) Act, 1954:

  • It prohibits advertisements of drugs and remedies that claim to have magical properties, and makes doing so a cognizable offence.
  • The penalty carries a maximum sentence of 6 months imprisonment with or without fine on first conviction. In case of any subsequent conviction, the term may be up to a year.
  • If the convicted party is a company, all members of the company will be deemed guilty.

The law prohibits advertising of drugs and remedies for:

  1. inducing miscarriage or preventing conception in women
  2. improving or maintaining the capacity for sexual pleasure
  3. correction of menstrual disorders
  4. curing, diagnosing or preventing any disease or condition mentioned in an included schedule

Definition:

The act defines “magic remedy” as any talisman, mantra, amulet or any other object which is claimed to have miraculous powers to cure, diagnose, prevent or mitigate a disease in humans or animal. It also includes such devices that are claimed to have power to influence structure or function of an organ in humans or animals.

Criticisms:

The law is rarely enforced and several such products are freely available to the public.

The law is considered severely outdated as 14 of the diseases in the list are now curable, and newer diseases like AIDS are not on the list.

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. Definition of magic remedy.
  2. What is banned under the said law?
  3. Penalties proposed under the law.

Sources: pib.

 


GS Paper  : 3


 

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

International Comparison Program

Context:

The World Bank has released new Purchasing Power Parities (PPPs) for reference year 2017, under International Comparison Program (ICP), that adjust for differences in the cost of living across economies of the World.

Globally 176 economies participated in 2017 cycle of ICP.

What is ICP?

International Comparison Program (ICP) is the largest worldwide data-collection initiative, under the guidance of UN Statistical Commission (UNSC).

  • The goal is of producing Purchasing Power Parities (PPPs) which are vital for converting measures of economic activities to be comparable across economies.
  • Along with the PPPs, the ICP also produces Price Level Indices (PLI) and other regionally comparable aggregates of GDP expenditure.
  • The next ICP comparison will be conducted for reference year 2021.

India and the ICP:

  • India has participated in almost all ICP rounds since its inception in 1970.
  • The Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation is National Implementing Agency (NIA) for India, which has the responsibility of planning, coordinating and implementing national ICP activities.
  • India has also been a co-Chair of the ICP Governing Board along with Statistics Austria for the ICP 2017 cycle.

Worldwide status:

  • Purchasing Power Parities (PPPs) of Indian Rupee per US$ at Gross Domestic Product (GDP) level is now 20.65 in 2017 from 15.55 in 2011.
  • Exchange Rate of US Dollar to Indian Rupee is now 65.12 from 46.67 during same period.
  • Price Level Index (PLI)— the ratio of a PPP to its corresponding market exchange rate—is used to compare the price levels of economies, of India is 47.55 in 2017 from 42.99 in 2011.

India’s position:

  1. In 2017, India retained and consolidated its global position, as the third largest economy, accounted for 6.7 percent ($8,051 billion out of World total of $119,547 billion) of global Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in terms of PPPs.
  2. China (16.4%) and United States (16.3%), respectively.
  3. India is also third largest economy in terms of its PPP-based share in global Actual Individual Consumption and Global Gross Capital Formation.

REGIONAL STATUS: ASIA-PACIFIC REGION:

  1. In 2017, India retained its regional position, as the second largest economy, accounted for 20.83 % of Regional Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in terms of PPPs.
  2. China was at 50.76% (first) and Indonesia at 7.49% (third).
  3. India is also second largest economy in terms of its PPP-based share in regional Actual Individual Consumption and regional Gross Capital Formation.
  4. Among 22 participating economies in Asia-Pacific region, the Purchasing Power Parities (PPPs) of Indian Rupee per Hong Kong Dollar(HK$) at Gross Domestic Product (GDP) level is now at 3.43 in 2017 from 2.97 in 2011.
  5. The Exchange Rate of Hong Kong Dollar to Indian Rupee is now at 8.36 from 6.00 during same period.

What is PPP?
The rate at which the currency of one country would have to be converted into that of another country to buy the same amount of goods and services in each country.

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. What is ICP? Who conducts it?
  2. Co- Chair of the ICP Governing Board for the ICP 2017 cycle.
  3. UN Statistical Commission (UNSC)- composition and functions.
  4. What is PPP?
  5. What is PLI?
  6. India’s performance at the global and regional level.
  7. Comparison with previous year performances.

Mains Link:

Comment on India’s performance in the 2017 International Comparison Program.

Sources: pib.

 

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

Country of Origin in GeM platform

Context:

Government e-Marketplace (GeM) has brought in certain changes to promote ‘Make in India’ and ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat’.

These include:

  1. It is now mandatory for sellers to enter the Country of Origin while registering all new products on GeM.
  2. Sellers, who had already uploaded their products before the introduction of this new feature on GeM, have to regularly update the Country of Origin.
  3. There shall be a provision for indication of the percentage of local content in products.
  4. ‘Make in India’ filter has now been enabled on the portal. Buyers can choose to buy only those products that meet the minimum 50% local content criteria.

About GeM:

What is it? GeM is a state-of-the-art national public procurement platform of Ministry of Commerce and Industries, that has used technology to remove entry barriers for bonafide sellers and has created a vibrant e-marketplace with a wide range of goods and services.

Aim: GeM aims to enhance transparency, efficiency and speed in public procurement.

GeM facilities:

  1. Listing of products for individual, prescribed categories of Goods/ Services of common use.
  2. Look, estimate, compare and buying facility on dynamic pricing basis.
  3. Market place buying of majority of common User Items.
  4. Buying Goods and Services online, as and when required.
  5. Transparency and ease of buying.
  6. Useful for low value buying and also for bulk buying at competitive price using Reverse Auction/ e-bidding.
  7. Continuous vendor rating system.
  8. Return policy.

Benefits of GeM:

  1. Enhances transparency.
  2. Increased efficiency.
  3. Secure and safe.
  4. Savings to the government.

gem

Sources: pib.

 


Facts for Prelims


YUKTI 2.0:

It is an initiative to help systematically assimilate technologies having commercial potential and information related to incubated startups in our higher education institutions.

YUKTI stands for Young India combating COVID with Knowledge, Technology and Innovation.

Ministry of HRD prepared the portal in view of Coronavirus.

  • Through this portal, the Ministry of Human Resource Development will endeavor to ensure that students, teachers and researchers in higher educational institutions are getting appropriate support to meet the requirements needed to advance their technologies and innovations.

Gaia hypothesis:

Gaia hypothesis put forth by James Lovelock is an ecological theory proposing that living creatures and the physical world are in a complex interacting system that maintains equilibrium. 

Blazars:

Blazars are among the brightest objects in the universe thanks to emissions powered by supersized black holes.

  • The most distant of the newly discovered blazars started to emit their light when the universe was just 1.4 billion years old.
  • Blazars are similar to all active galaxies, acquiring energy from matter falling toward a central supermassive black hole. A small part of this infalling material becomes redirected into a pair of particle jets, which blast outward in opposite directions at nearly the speed of light.

Blazars

 

Articles to be covered tomorrow:

  1. New US Visa norms.

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