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INSIGHTS DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS + PIB SUMMARY- 29 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. WMO findings on lightning strikes.

 

GS Paper 2:

1. What is a Review Petition?

2. Nasha Mukt Bharat: Annual Action Plan (2020-21).

3. In border claims, reimagining South Asia’s boundaries.

 

GS Paper 3:

1. Consolidated notification on MSME classification and registration.

2. Statistics day.

3. What is Anthropause?

 

Facts for Prelims:

1. Maareech.

2. Sankalp Parva.

3. Fishing cats.

4. Gynandromorphs.

 


GS Paper  : 1


 

Topics Covered: Important Geophysical phenomena.

WMO findings on lightning strikes

Highlights:

  1. Brazil recorded a lightning strike that travelled a distance of 709 kilometres in 2018.
  2. The previous record for the longest detected distance for a single lightning flash was for 321 km on June 20, 2007, across the US state of Oklahoma.
  3. Brazil has the highest incidence of lightning in the world — an average of 77.8 million strikes per year.
  4. Argentina recorded a strike that lasted for 16.73 seconds in 2019.
  5. The previous record was a single lightning flash that lasted continuously for 7.74 seconds on August 30, 2012 over Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur, France.
  6. The lightning flashes that have now entered the record books are known as ‘Megaflashes’ in scientific parlance.

Lightning strikes in India:

  1. Bihar is second after Uttar Pradesh with the maximum number of deaths due to lightning.
  2. At least 170 people died in Bihar due to lightning in 2019 between April 1 and July 31.
  3. The number of lightning days across India have been increasing significantly every month.
  4. Lightning strikes kill morepeople in India than any other extreme weather event.

What is lightning?

It is a very rapid — and massive — discharge of electricity in the atmosphere, some of which is directed towards the Earth’s surface.

These discharges are generated in giant moisture-bearing clouds that are 10-12 km tall.

lighting

How does it strike?

  1. The base of these clouds typically lies within 1-2 km of the Earth’s surface, while their top is 12-13 km away. Temperatures towards the top of these clouds are in the range of minus 35 to minus 45 degrees Celsius.
  2. As water vapour moves upward in the cloud, the falling temperature causes it to condense.Heat is generated in the process, which pushes the molecules of water further up.
  3. As they move to temperatures below zero degrees celsius, the water droplets change into small ice crystals. They continue to move up, gathering mass — until they are so heavy that they start to fall to Earth.
  4. This leads to a system in which, simultaneously, smaller ice crystals are moving up and bigger crystals are coming down.
  5. Collisions follow, and trigger the release of electrons — a process that is very similar to the generation of sparks of electricity. As the moving free electrons cause more collisions and more electrons, a chain reaction ensues.
  6. This process results in a situation in which the top layer of the cloud gets positively charged, while the middle layer is negatively charged. The electrical potential difference between the two layers is huge — of the order of a billion to 10 billion volts. In very little time, a massive current, of the order of 100,000 to a million amperes, starts to flow between the layers.
  7. An enormous amount of heat is produced, and this leads to the heating of the air column between the two layers of the cloud. This heat gives the air column a reddish appearance during lightning. As the heated air column expands, it produces shock waves that result in thunder.

How does this current reach the Earth from the cloud?

  1. While the Earth is a good conductor of electricity,it is electrically neutral. However, in comparison to the middle layer of the cloud, it becomes positively charged. As a result, about 15%-20% of the current gets directed towards the Earth as well. It is this flow of current that results in damage to life and property on Earth.
  2. There is a greater probability of lightning striking tall objectssuch as trees, towers or buildings. Once it is about 80-100 m from the surface, lightning tends to change course towards these taller objects. This happens because air is a poor conductor of electricity, and electrons that are travelling through air seek both a better conductor and the shortest route to the relatively positively charged Earth’s surface.

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. How lightning strikes?
  2. What are megaflashes?
  3. Is earth a good conductor of electricity?
  4. Types of clouds.
  5. Lightning strikes in India.

Mains Link:

Write a note on how lightning phenomenon.

Sources: down to earth.

 


GS Paper  : 2


 

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

What is a Review Petition?

Context:

The Supreme Court has refused to review its 2018 judgment which decriminalised adultery.

What had the Court ruled then?

The original judgment was by a Constitution Bench led by then chief justice Dipak Misra who found that Section 497 (adultery) of the Indian Penal Code cannot “command” married couples to remain loyal to each other for the fear of penal punishment.

  • Two individuals may part if one cheats, but to attach criminality to infidelity is going too far.
  • The court had reasoned that there was no data whatsoever to support claims that abolition of adultery as a crime would result in “chaos in sexual morality” or an increase of divorce.

Why Court struck down Section 497?

Section 497 perpetuates subordinate status of women, denies dignity, sexual autonomy, and is based on gender stereotypes. Section 497 based on women as chattel, seeks to control sexuality of woman, hits the autonomy and dignity of woman.

It also violates rights guaranteed under Articles 14 and 21.

Past Supreme Court judgements on adultery:

The adultery law had come up in court thrice in the past — in 1954, in 1985, and in 1988.

  1. In 1954, the SC rejected that Section 497 violated the right to equality.
  2. In 1985, it said that women didn’t need to be included in the law as a party which can make complaints.
  3. In 1988, the Supreme Court said that the adultery law was a “shield rather than a sword”.

What is a review petition and when can it be filed?

Under Article 137, the Supreme Court has the power to review any of its judgments or orders.

Scope for review:

When a review takes place, the law is that it is allowed not to take fresh stock of the case but to correct grave errors that have resulted in the miscarriage of justice.

The court has the power to review its rulings to correct a “patent error” and not “minor mistakes of inconsequential import”.

In a 1975 ruling, Justice Krishna Iyer said a review can be accepted “only where a glaring omission or patent mistake or like grave error has crept in earlier by judicial fallibility”.

In a 2013 ruling, the Supreme Court has laid down three grounds for seeking a review of a verdict it has delivered:

  1. The discovery of new and important matter or evidence which, after the exercise of due diligence, was not within the knowledge of the petitioner or could not be produced by him.
  2. Mistake or error apparent on the face of the record.
  3. Any other sufficient reason. It means a reason that is analogous to the other two grounds.

In 2013 Union of India v. Sandur Manganese & Iron Ores Ltd) case, the court laid down nine principles on when a review is maintainable.

Who can file a review petition?

As per the Civil Procedure Code and the Supreme Court Rules, any person aggrieved by a ruling can seek a review. However, the court exercises its discretion to allow a review petition only when it shows the grounds for seeking the review.

Time- period within which a review petition should be filed?

As per 1996 rules framed by the Supreme Court:

  1. A review petition must be filed within 30 days of the date of judgment or order. While a judgment is the final decision in a case, an order is an interim ruling that is subject to its final verdict.
  2. In certain circumstances, the court can condone a delay in filing the review petition if the petitioner can establish strong reasons that justify the delay.

The procedure to be followed:

  1. The rules state that review petitions would ordinarily be entertained without oral arguments by lawyers. It is heard “through circulation” by the judges in their chambers.
  2. Review petitions are also heard, as far as practicable, by the same combination of judges who delivered the order or judgment that is sought to be reviewed.
  3. If a judge has retired or is unavailable, a replacement is made keeping in mind the seniority of judges.
  4. In exceptional cases, the court allows an oral hearing. In a 2014 case, the Supreme Court held that review petitions in all death penalty cases will be heard in open court by a Bench of three judges.

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. Review vs Curative petition.
  2. Procedure to be followed.
  3. Who can file?
  4. Time- period within which a review petition should be filed?
  5. What is Section 497 of IPC?
  6. What is Article 137?

Mains Link:

What is a review petition? What is the procedure to be followed? Discuss.

Sources: the Hindu.

 

Topics Covered: Issues related to health.

Nasha Mukt Bharat: Annual Action Plan (2020-21)

Launched for on the occasion of “International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking”.

Launched by the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment.

The Action Plan has the following components:

  1. Awareness generation programmes.
  2. Focus on Higher Educational institutions, University Campuses and Schools.
  3. Community outreach and identification of dependent population.
  4. Focus on Treatment facilities in Hospital settings.
  5. Capacity Building Programmes for Service Provider.

Implementation:

It would focus on 272 most affected districts and launch a three-pronged attack combining efforts of Narcotics Bureau, Outreach/Awareness by Social Justice and Treatment through the Health Dept.

De-addiction Facilities would be set up.

Drop-in-centres for addicts will be set up and also on peer-led community based outreach programmes for high risk populations – particularly the youth- will be launched.

Integrated Rehabilitation Centre for Addicts (IRCAs) would reach out to communities to help those affected by drug addiction.

Key facts:

  1. The Narcotics Control Bureau has identified the “most affected” 272 districts which mostly belong to Punjab, Haryana, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh and the North-East lead the states.
  2. These districts have been identified by the Centre as those hugely affected by drug abuse.
  3. The ‘Nasha mukt Bharat’ campaign was originally launched in 2015 by Shiromani Akali Dal in Punjab.
  4. According to the national list of districts most affected by substance abuse, 18 of the 22 districts in Punjab are among those identified by the NCB along with 10 out of Haryana’s 22 districts.

Need for:

About 8,50,000 Indians inject drugs, about 4,60,000 children and 1.8 million adults need help for inhalant dependence and 7.7 million Indians require help for opioid dependence.

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking- Date and theme this year.
  2. What are IRCAS? How they are funded?
  3. About UNODC.
  4. National Survey on Extent and Pattern of Substance Use in India- Highlights.

Mains Link:

Write a note on the annual Anti-Drug Action Plan for 2020-21.

Sources: pib.

 

Topics Covered: India and its neighbourhood- relations.

In border claims, reimagining South Asia’s boundaries

(Before understanding this article, you need to know the following:

  • State-centrism has given the state structure the propriety to be the sole arbiter of disputes, if any, among communities and regions falling within the territorial limits of nation states.
  • As per this principle, it is the state that articulates, defines, and represents “national” interests in negotiations with other states.)

south_asia_boundaries

Now, What’s the issue?

Border disputes, such as Kalapani dispute, are “handled” rather than “addressed” within the given dispensation of South Asian statecraft.

The main problem here is that the decisions flow from within a state-centric paradigm.

  • People living in the disputed regions and their emotions are not taken into account.
  • Often, territorial boundaries are valued more than lives, livelihoods and the well-being of the people located at the edges of nation states.

What we forget is countries here not only share cultural and civilisational backgrounds but also an “officially” recognised porous border.

Need of the hour:

South Asia is perhaps the most natural regional grouping of states around the world. And, at the same time, it is also the most difficult and contested grouping.

South Asia needs to be rethought, not as a region of states, but as a region of regions.

It is a land where contact zones should exist beyond the limits of territorial boundaries shared by the member-states.

There is a need to go beyond the popular debates revolving around such “troubling” questions such as: how much area has been “encroached” upon by which state and on what basis. 

It is because such questions seem to be troubling to those who are to maintain their lifeworld at those zones.

  • In a certain sense, the people living at the edges of nation states within South Asia do not actually belong to any of the two nation states.
  • Or in other words, they belong to both the states at the same time.

Plurality, differences and inclusivity bring coherence to borderland ontology; they defy the logic of singular, unifying, exclusive identities that the nation states privilege.

Way ahead:

Both India and Nepal, and for that matter, other South Asian countries need to rethink South Asia as a region of regions before they submit to the enticements of a new language of “regional cooperation” — one that is ontologically empty but materially more rewarding.

Region and regional identity are not just issues of “realpolitik” in South Asia; rather, the need is to “officially” accommodate this rather naturally drafted way of doing politics, if we are genuinely concerned about South Asian geopolitics.

Sources: the Hindu.

 


GS Paper  : 3


 

Topics Covered: Inclusive growth and issues arising from it.

Consolidated notification on MSME classification and registration

The Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) Ministry has issued consolidated notification for classification and registration of MSMEs to be effected from July 1.

This notification would supercede all earlier notifications with regard to classification or registration of MSMEs.

As per the latest notification:

  1. An MSME would hereafter been referred to as Udyam and the registration process as Udyam Registration.
  2. The Registration can be filed online based on self-declaration. Uploading of documents, papers or certificate as proof would not be necessary henceforth.
  3. The basic criteria for MSME classification would be on investment in plant, machinery and equipment and turnover.
  4. Export of goods or services or both would be excluded while calculating the turnover of any enterprise and investment calculation linked to the IT return of the previous year.
  5. Champions Control Room across the country have been made legally responsible for facilitating entrepreneurs in registration and thereafter.

As per the latest classification:

  1. Micro enterprises would be those with investments not exceeding Rs one crore and turnover of Rs 5 crore.
  2. Small enterprises would be those with investment up to Rs 10 crore and turnover of up to Rs 50 crore.
  3. Medium enterprises – as those with investments not exceeding Rs 50 crore and turnover of Rs 250 crore.

Significance and implications of these measures:

The measures would completely change the way MSMEs work, ensure they compete globally besides resulting in newer enterprises entering the fray.

With the stimulus, these enterprises will be in a position to lead to a fast V-shaped recovery the moment the pandemic is brought under control.

Significance of MSMEs:

With around 63.4 million units throughout the geographical expanse of the country, MSMEs contribute around 6.11% of the manufacturing GDP and 24.63% of the GDP from service activities as well as 33.4% of India’s manufacturing output.

They have been able to provide employment to around 120 million persons and contribute around 45% of the overall exports from India.

About 20% of the MSMEs are based out of rural areas, which indicates the deployment of significant rural workforce in the MSME sector.

Additional fact:

International MSME Day was observed on 27 June under the theme “COVID-19: The Great Lockdown and its impact on Small Business.”

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. Share of MSME sector in India’s GDP and exports.
  2. The basic criteria for MSME classification.
  3. What is referred to as Udyam according to Government of India?
  4. Classification of MSMEs.
  5. What is V- shaped recovery?
  6. SDGs on MSMEs.

Mains Link:

What is the potential of India’s MSME sector? Discuss the challenges and concerns associated with the growth of MSME sector in India.

Sources: pib.

 

Topics Covered:  Achievements of Indians in science & technology; indigenization of technology and developing new technology.

Statistics day

Celebrated on 29th June every year.

Observed in recognition of the notable contributions made by Late Professor Prasanta Chandra Mahalanobis in the fields of statistics, statistical system and economic planning.

Theme:

This year’s Theme is “SDG- 3 (Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages) & SDG- 5 (Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls)”.

Contribution of PC Mahalanonobis to Statistics (1893 –1972):

  1. He is referred to as the chief architect of Indian statistical system as well as father of statistical science in India.
  2. He established the Indian Statistical Institute (ISI) in 1931 in Kolkata.
  3. The institute founded the journal Sankhya, along the lines of Karl Pearson’s Biometrika.
  4. In 1959 it was made an autonomous body of Ministry of Statistics & Programme Implementation.
  5. He also helped in the establishment of Central Statistical Organisation (CSO), the National Sample Survey (NSS) and the Annual Survey of Industries (ASI).
    He introduced three key concepts to the theory and practice of sample surveys which are: Pilot surveys, Optimum survey design and Inter Penetrating Network of sub-samples technique (IPNS).
    He also served as the Chairman of the United Nations Sub-Commission on Statistical Sampling.
  6. In 1936 he introduced a statistical measure named the Mahalanobis distance.It is widely used in cluster analysis and classification techniques.
    The Mahalanobis model, was employed in the Second Five Year Plan, which worked towards the rapid industrialisation of India.
    Sources: pib.

 

Topics Covered: Conservation related issues.

What is Anthropause?

Also called as the “Great Pause”, it is a term coined by the researchers in the UK.

It refers to the coronavirus-induced lockdown period and its impact on other species.

How curbs imposed during this period led to unusual animal behaviour?

There were pumas sighted in Chile’s Santiago, jackals in the parks of Tel Aviv in Israel, dolphins in the waters of Italy and even a monkey fight on the streets of Thailand.

Why study this period?

As a result of the lockdown, nature appears to have changed, especially in urban environments, since not only are there now more animals, but also some “unexpected visitors.”

On the other hand, there are some animals for whom the lockdown may have made things more challenging.

  • For instance, for various urban-dwelling animals, such as rats, gulls and monkeys who depend on food provided or discarded by humans, the lockdown would have made life more difficult.

The researchers believe studying this period will provide valuable insights into the relationship between human-wildlife interactions in the 21st century. 

It might also be useful in preserving global biodiversity, maintaining the integrity of ecosystems and predicting global zoonoses and environmental changes.

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. Locate the following on map: Tel Aviv, Santiago and Thailand.
  2. Dolphins species in India and their habitats.
  3. What is Anthropause? Who coined the term?
  4. Zoonoses

Mains Link:

Write a note on Anthropause.

Sources: Indian Express.

 


Facts for Prelims


Maareech:

It is an advanced anti-torpedo decoy system that is capable of being fired from all frontline ships.

  • It was recently inducted by the Indian Navy.
  • Designed and developed indigenously by the Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO).
  • It is capable of detecting, locating and neutralizing incoming torpedo.

Sankalp Parva:

Ministry of Culture is celebrating the “Sankalp Parva” from 28th June to 12 July 2020.

This initiative has been launched following the call of Prime Minister of India Shri Narendra Modi to plant at least five trees either in Office campus or wherever it is possible in order to ensure clean and healthy environment of the country.

Ministry of Culture has recommended planting 5 tress: Bargad, Awla, Pepal, Ashok and Bel. These 5 trees represent the herbal heritage of the country.

Fishing cats:

Why in News?

The Odisha Government has started a two-year conservation project for Fishing Cats in Bhitarkanika National Park.

Key facts:

The fishing cat is nocturnal (active at night).

State animal of West Bengal.

Habitats: In India, fishing cats are mainly found in the mangrove forests of the Sundarbans, on the foothills of the Himalayas along the Ganga and Brahmaputra river valleys and in the Western Ghats.

Protection:

  1. Vulnerable— IUCN Red List.
  2. CITES: Appendix II
  3. Indian Wildlife Protection Act, 1972: Schedule I.

Fishing Cat Project, launched in 2010 started raising awareness about the Cat in West Bengal.

fishing_cats

Gynandromorphs:

They are chimeric individuals having both male and female tissues, and are viewed by the scientific community as a genetic aberration. 

It is common in some arthropod taxa such as Crustacea and Arachnida.

Why in News?

Researchers have Gynandromorphism in the Libellulid Dragonfly Crocothemis Servilia from India.

gynandromorphs


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