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INSIGHTS DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS + PIB SUMMARY- 14 July 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. Mizoram quake zone.

 

GS Paper 2:

1. Disabled are entitled to same benefits of SC/ST quota: SC.

2. Afghan exports to India through Wagah border.

3. Iran drops India from Chabahar rail project.

 

GS Paper 3:

1. UN’s High-Level Political Forum.

 

GS Paper 4:

1. Enabling people to govern themselves.

 

Facts for Prelims:

1. Chushul

2. Arad and Carmel.

3. World’s longest subsea powercable.

4. Tangams.

5. Bhanu Jayanti.

 


GS Paper  : 1


 

Topic: Important Geophysical phenomena such as earthquakes, Tsunami, Volcanic activity, cyclone etc.

Mizoram quake zone

Mizoram experienced at least eight moderate earthquakes between June 21 and July 9. The tremors ranged from 4.2 to 5.5 on the Richter scale

  • The epicentre of most of these quakes was beneath Champhai district bordering Myanmar.

Recent findings:

A recent study has indicated that Mizoram is caught between two subterranean faults– Churachandpur Mao Fault and Mat Fault.

  1. Churachandpur Mao Fault runs north-south into Myanmar along the border of Champhai.
  2. Mat Fault runs northwest-southeast across Mizoram, beneath the river Mat near Serchhip.

There are several shallower transverse or minor faults in between these two major faults that are deeper.

What is a fault?

A fault is a thin zone of crushed rock separating blocks of the earth’s crust. When an earthquake occurs on one of these faults, the rock on one side of the fault slips with respect to the other.

  • Faults can be centimeters to thousands of kilometers long.
  • The fault surface can be vertical, horizontal, or at some angle to the surface of the earth.
  • Faults can extend deep into the earth and may or may not extend up to the earth’s surface.

fault

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. Locate Mao and Mat fault on map.
  2. Earthquake waves- overview.
  3. Types of faults.
  4. What is epicentre?
  5. What is plate tectonics?

Mains Link:

Discuss why Mizoram is prone to earthquakes.

Sources: the Hindu.

 


GS Paper  : 2


 

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

Disabled are entitled to same benefits of SC/ST quota: SC

Context:

The Supreme Court, in a significant decision, has confirmed that persons suffering from disabilities are also socially backward and entitled to the same benefits of relaxation as Scheduled Caste/Scheduled Tribe candidates in public employment and education.

  • The Court has upheld a 2012 judgment of the Delhi High Court in Anamol Bhandari (minor) through his father/Natural Guardian v. Delhi Technological University in a significant decision.

What was the case?

A petition was filed Aryan Raj, a special needs person, against the Government College of Arts, Chandigarh.

  • The college denied Mr. Raj relaxation in minimum qualifying marks in the Painting and Applied Art course.
  • The college insisted that disabled persons too need to meet the general qualifying standard of 40% in the aptitude test, whereas SC/ST candidates were given a relaxation to 35%.

Need for reservations:

Intellectually/mentally challenged persons have certain limitations, which are not there in physically challenged persons.

What needs to be done?

  1. New academic courses should be crafted to specifically cater to the needs of intellectually disabled persons.
  2. The subject experts should examine the feasibility of creating a course which caters to the specific needs of such persons.
  3. They may also examine increasing the number of seats in the discipline of Painting and Applied Art with a view to accommodating such students.

Important constitutional provisions related to SC/Sources: the Hindu. Communities:

https://shodhganga.inflibnet.ac.in/bitstream/10603/113404/13/13%20appendix%20i.pdf.

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. Overview of Articles 15(4), 16(4A) and 46.
  2. The Writ of Certiorari.
  3. About Sugamya Bharat Abhiyan.
  4. About National Handicapped Finance Development Corporation (NHFDC).

Mains Link:

Discuss why persons suffering from disabilities should be considered as socially backward and be entitled to the same benefits of relaxation as Scheduled Caste/Scheduled Tribe candidates in public employment and education.

Sources: the Hindu.

 

Topics Covered: India and its neighbourhood- relations.

Afghan exports to India through Wagah border

Pakistan will allow Afghanistan to send goods to India using the Wagah border from July 15. The decision is part of Islamabad’s commitment under Pakistan-Afghanistan Transit Trade Agreement.

  • However, Islamabad is silent about allowing the same facility to India for exports to Afghanistan.

About APTTA:

Afghanistan–Pakistan Transit Trade Agreement (also known as APTTA) is a bilateral trade agreement signed in 2010 by Pakistan and Afghanistan that calls for greater facilitation in the movement of goods amongst the two countries.

What are the problems with APTTA?

  1. Pakistan has lately closed its borders with Afghanistan multiple times, where it has used blockades for arm-twisting political circles in Afghanistan.
  2. This usually causes priced to spiral in Afghan markets as costlier or smuggled imports are what satiates demand. 

aptta

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. Important Landlocked countries across the world.
  2. India’s borders with Pakistan and Afghanistan.
  3. Wagah border.
  4. What is APTTA? When was it signed?
  5. Wagah of East.

Mains Link:

Discuss how opening of Wagah border for Afghanistan by Pakistan will help boost trade between India and Afghanistan.

Sources: the Hindu.

 

Topics Covered: India and its neighbourhood- relations.

Iran drops India from Chabahar rail project

Iran has decided to move ahead with the construction of a railway line from Chabahar port to Zahedan without any assistance from India due to delay in funding.

What’s the issue?

The railway line project was part of India’s commitment to the trilateral agreement with Afghanistan and Iran to build an alternate trade route to Afghanistan and Central Asia.

  • The deal was finalised during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Tehran in 2016.

Indian Railways Construction Ltd (IRCON) had promised assistance to the railway line project besides financing worth $1.6 billion. However, the work was never started as the United States imposed sanctions on Iran.

  • While there was a waiver on US sanctions for the specific railway line project, India found it hard to pick equipment suppliers who were worried about possible action from the US.

Concerns for India:

The development comes at a time when Iran is seeking to finalise a 25-year economic and security partnership with China. The deal is worth $400 billion.

  • The deal between Iran and China — if finalised — could result in a vast expansion of Chinese presence in various sectors of Iran including banking, telecommunications, ports, railways and numerous other projects.

Considering that Iran has been an important strategic ally for New Delhi, the deal could hurt India’s prospects in the region, especially at a time when its relations with China have soured further in the aftermath of the recent border standoff.

Where is Chabahar Port?

Located on the Gulf of Oman and is the only oceanic port of the country. 

Why Chabahar port is important for India?

  1. With this, India can bypass Pakistan in transporting goods to Afghanistan.
  2. It will also boost India’s access to Iran, the key gateway to the International North-South Transport Corridor that has sea, rail and road routes between India, Russia, Iran, Europe and Central Asia.
  3. It also helps India counter Chinese presence in the Arabian Sea which China is trying to ensure by helping Pakistan develop the Gwadar port. Gwadar port is less than 400 km from Chabahar by road and 100 km by sea.
  4. From a diplomatic perspective, Chabahar port could be used as a point from where humanitarian operations could be coordinated.

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. Location of Chabahar Port.
  2. What is INSTC?
  3. Gulf of Oman.
  4. Zahaden.
  5. Countries in the Indian Ocean region.

Mains Link:

Discuss why Chabahar port is significant for India.

Sources: the Hindu.

 


GS Paper  : 3


 

Topics Covered: Environment and conservation related issues.

UN’s High-Level Political Forum

NITI Aayog presents India’s second Voluntary National Review at UN’s High-Level Political Forum.

  • The India VNR 2020 report is titled “Decade of Action: Taking SDGs from Global to Local”.

 Background:

NITI Aayog has the mandate of overseeing the adoption and monitoring of SDGs at the national and sub-national level.

Details:

  • The report is a comprehensive account of the adoption and implementation of the 2030 Agenda in India.
  • Apart from presenting a review of progress on the 17 SDGs, the report discusses the policy and enabling environment, India’s approach to localising SDGs, and strengthening means of implementation.

About the United Nations HLPF:

The establishment of the United Nations High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF) was mandated in 2012 by the outcome document of the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20), “The Future We Want”.

  • The HLPF meets annually in July for eight days under the auspices of the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) of the United Nations.
  • It replaced the Commission on Sustainable Development, which had met annually since 1993.

Functions:

The HLPF is the main United Nations platform on sustainable development.

It has a central role in the follow-up and review of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development at the global level.

What is Voluntary National Review (VNR)?

VNR is a process through which countries assess and present progress made in achieving the global goals and the pledge to leave no one behind.

The purpose is to present a snapshot of where the country stands in SDG implementation, with a view to help accelerate progress through experience sharing, peer-learning, identifying gaps and good practices, and mobilizing partnerships.

  • The reviews are voluntary and state-led and are aimed at facilitating the sharing of experiences, including successes, challenges and lessons learned.
  • The process of preparation of a country’s VNR provides a platform for partnerships, including through the participation of various relevant stakeholders.

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. When was NITI Aayog established?
  2. What is VNR? Is it voluntary?
  3. Overview of SDGs and important sub goals.
  4. About ECOSOC.
  5. About Rio+20.
  6. What is HLPF?

Sources: pib.

 


GS Paper  : 4


Enabling people to govern themselves

How COVID 19 situation exposed mismatch in our governance systems?

Governance systems at all levels, i.e. global, national, and local, have experienced stress as a fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • Breakdowns in many subsystems had to be managed at the same time — in health care, logistics, business, finance, and administration. Solutions for one subsystem backfired on other subsystems.

What’s the issue?

There is a mismatch in the design of governance institutions with the challenges they are required to manage.

Systems and subsystems are working in isolation and not in coordination.

For example:

  • Lockdowns to make it easier to manage the health crisis have made it harder to manage economic distress simultaneously.
  • Diversion of resources to focus on the threat to life posed by COVID-19 has increased vulnerabilities to death from other diseases, and even from malnutrition in many parts of India.

Challenges to be addressed:

The global challenges listed in the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the United Nations are systemic challenges.

All these systemic problems are interconnected with each other.

  • Environmental, economic, and social issues cannot be separated from each other and solved by experts in silos or by agencies focused only on their own problems.

Need of the hour:

  1. Solutions must fit the specific conditions of each country, and of each locality within countries too, to fit the shape of the environment and the condition of society there.
  2. Locals must be active contributors of knowledge for, and active participants in, the creation of the solutions.
  3. Knowledge of different experts — about the environment, the society, and the economy — must come together to fit realities on the ground.

A case for local systems (Can be used in ethics answers):

Governance of the people must be not only for the people. It must be by the people too.

Gandhiji and his economic advisers, J.C. Kumarappa and others, developed their solutions of local enterprises through observations and experiments on the ground.

  1. F. Schumacher author of Small is Beautiful, had proposed a new economics, founded on local enterprise, very consistent with Gandhiji’s ideas.
  2. Elinor Ostrom, the first woman to win the Nobel Prize in Economics, in 2009, had developed the principles for self-governing communities from research on the ground in many countries, including India.

Sources: the Hindu.

 


Facts for Prelims


Chushul:

This place is famous for the Indian Army who fought to the ‘last man, last round’ at Rezang La (Chushul) on November 18, 1962. Without this crucial victory, the territory might have been captured by China.

Why in News?

India and China are scheduled to hold the fourth round of Corps Commanders talks at Chushul.

aksai_Chin

Arad and Carmel:

These are two new Israeli assault rifles now set to be manufactured in India.

The assault rifles will be manufactured under Make in India initiative in Madhya Pradesh by joint venture PLR Systems, which is already producing arms like Tavor.

World’s longest subsea power cable:

Construction work has begun in Lincolnshire on the world’s longest subsea power cable (767km), which will run between Britain and Denmark to share renewable energy between the two countries.

Tangams:

Recently, Arunachal Pradesh chief Minister released a book titled “Tangams: an Ethnolinguistic study of the critically endangered group of Arunachal Pradesh”.

  • Tangams are a little-known community within the larger Adi tribe of Arunachal Pradesh.
  • Tangams are now concentrated in only one village (Kugging), with 253 reported speakers.
  • As per the UNESCO World Atlas of Endangered Languages (2009), Tangam — an oral language that belongs to the Tani group, under the greater Tibeto-Burman language family — is marked ‘critically endangered’. 

Bhanu Jayanti:

13th July 2020 marks the 206th Birth Anniversary of Bhanubhakta Acharya.

Bhanu Jayanti is also celebrated across the state of Nepal on 13th July every year.

Bhanubhakta Acharya was the first writer to translate the Great Epic of Ancient India- Ramayana from Sanskrit to Nepali. He was born in Nepal.


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