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INSIGHTS DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS + PIB SUMMARY- 15 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. Tatya Tope.

2. Padmanabhaswamy temple case.

 

GS Paper 2:

1. Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Act, 2019.

2. Pragyata guidelines.

3. Bilateral Trade and Investment Agreement (BTIA).

 

Facts for Prelims:

1. Nagorno-Karabakh region.

2. Dal lake.

3. Kaziranga National Park.

4. World Youth Skills Day.

 


GS Paper  : 1


 

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

Tatya Tope

Maharashtra government recently informed the Bombay High Court that more than ₹2.5 crore had already been spent on the construction of a national monument of the general Tatya Tope at Yeola in Nashik district.

  • The Central government has sanctioned funds to the extent of 75% of the estimated cost while the rest will be borne by the State.

Background:

A PIL was filed in the court seeking a direction to authorities to change the place sanctioned for the monument from Yeola taluka to a plot in Angangaon village in Yevla tehsil of the same district, which belongs to the Irrigation department.

However, the Court has declined to provide an interim relief on the belated approach and said 50% of the construction work of the monument had already been completed. 

About Tatya Tope:

Also known as Ramachandra Pandurang Tope, he was one of the most notable Indian freedom fighters and a general in the Rebellion of 1857.

  • Born in 1814 in Nashik, Maharashtra, Tatya Tope was the only son of Pandurang Rao Tope and his wife Rukhmabai
  • Tatya Tope was an intimate friend and the right hand of Nana Sahib, the adopted son of Peshwa
  • In May 1857, Tatya Tope won the battle over the Indian troops of the East India Company at Kanpur
  • He forced General Windham to retreat from the city of Gwalior.
  • He collaborated with Rani Lakshmi Bai of Jhansi to seize Gwalior.

Tatya Tope was defeated by Sir Colin Campbell (later Baron Clyde) on December 6, 1857. He was hanged on April 18, 1859, in General Meade’s camp at Shivpuri.

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. Famous personalities associated with 1857 revolt.
  2. Causes and effects of the revolt.
  3. About Nana Sahib.
  4. What was Doctrine of Lapse?
  5. Who said what about the revolt?

Mains Link:

Write a note on Tatya Tope and his key contributions to the freedom struggle.

Sources: the Hindu.

 

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

Padmanabhaswamy temple case

Reversing the 2011 Kerala High Court decision, the Supreme Court has upheld the right of the Travancore royal family to manage the property of deity at Sree Padmanabha Swamy Temple in Thiruvananthapuram.

  • The Temple has been in the news since 2011 after the discovery of treasure worth over Rs. 1 lakh crore in its underground vaults.

What was the case?

The central legal question was whether Utradam Thirunal Marthanda Varma, the younger brother of Chithira Thirunal Balarama Varma, the last Ruler of Travancore, could claim to be the “Ruler of Travancore” after the death of the ruler in 1991.

The court examined this claim within the limited meaning of that term according to the Travancore-Cochin Hindu Religious Institutions Act, 1950 to claim ownership, control and management of the ancient Sree Padmanabha Swamy Temple.

The judgment:

  • The Supreme Court (SC) has reversed the 2011 Kerala High Court decision,which had directed the Kerala government to set up a trust to control the management and assets of the temple.
  • The court said that, as per customary law, the shebait rights (right to manage the financial affairs of the deity) survive with the members of the family even after the death of the last ruler.
  • The court defined ‘shebait’ as the “custodian of the idol, its earthly spokesman, its authorised representative entitled to deal with all its temporal affairs and to manage its property”.

Directions:

Accepting the royals’ submission that the temple is a “public temple”, the court issued a slew of directions for its transparent administration in the future.

It directed the setting up of an administrative committee with the Thiruvananthapuram District Judge as its chairperson.

  • The other members would be a nominee of the trustee (royal family), the chief thanthri of the temple, a nominee of the State and a member nominated by the Union Ministry of Culture. This committee would take care of the daily administration of the temple.

It also ordered a second committee to be constituted to advise the administrative committee on policy matters.

  • This would be chaired by a retired High Court judge nominated by the Chief Justice of the Kerala High Court.

Who had the ownership, control and management of the Padmanabhaswamy temple before 1991? (Have a brief overview of the events):

All the temples which were under the control and management of the erstwhile Princely States of Travancore and Cochin were under the control of the Travancore and Cochin Devaswom Boards before 1947.

  1. However, as per the Instrument of Accession signed between the princely states and the Government of India, since 1949, the administration of the Padmanabhaswamy Temple was “vested in trust” in the Ruler of Travancore.
  2. The state of Kerala was carved out in 1956 but the temple continued to be managed by the erstwhile royals.
  3. In 1971, privy purses to the former royals were abolished through a constitutional amendment stripping their entitlements and privileges.
  4. In 1991, when the last ruler’s brother took over the temple management, it created a furore among devotees who moved the courts leading to a long-drawn legal battle. The government joined in; supporting the claims of the petitioner that Marthanda Varma had no legal right to claim the control or management of the temple.

Why Article 366 is in News?

The High Court (HC) had ruled that the successor to the erstwhile royals could not claim to be in control of the Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple after the amendment of definition of ‘Ruler’ in Article 366 (22) of the Constitution of India.

  • The definition of Ruler was amended by the Twenty Sixth (Constitutional) Amendment Act, 1971, which abolished the privy purses.

Article 366 (22) reads, “Ruler” means the Prince, Chief or other person who, at any time before the commencement of the Twenty Sixth (Constitutional) Amendment Act, 1971, was recognised as the Ruler of an Indian State or was recognised as the successor of such Ruler.

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. What is 26th Constitutional Amendment all about?
  2. Article 366 (22) of the Indian Constitution.
  3. Article 363A.
  4. Shebait- definition.

Mains Link:

Discuss the significance Supreme Court judgment in Padmanabhaswamy temple case.

Sources: the Hindu.

 


GS Paper  : 2


 

Topics Covered: Welfare schemes for vulnerable sections of the population by the Centre and States and the performance of these schemes; mechanisms, laws, institutions and bodies constituted for the protection and betterment of these vulnerable sections.

Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Act, 2019

After facing flak from the transgender community, the Centre has done away with the requirement of a medical examination for trans persons applying for a certificate of identity in its latest draft rules framed under the Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Act, 2019.

Overview of the draft ‘Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Rules, 2020’:

  1. All educational institutions are to have a committee which transgender persons can approach in case of any harassment or discrimination.
  2. The “appropriate government” is also required to take adequate steps to “prohibit discrimination in any government or private organisation or establishment.”
  3. States will be responsible for “timely prosecution of individuals” charged under Section 18 of the Act which proscribes offences against the transgender community and penalties therein.
  4. The offences would be punishable with imprisonment for six months upto two years, with a fine.
  5. State governments will have to set up a Transgender Protection Cell under the District Magistrate and DGP to monitor cases of offences against transgender persons and implement Section 18.

Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Act, 2019:

Definition of a transgender person:

  • It defines a transgender person as one whose gender does not match the gender assigned at birth. It includes trans-men and trans-women, persons with intersex variations, gender-queers, and persons with socio-cultural identities, such as kinnar and hijra.
  • Intersex variations is defined to mean a person who at birth shows variation in his or her primary sexual characteristics, external genitalia, chromosomes, or hormones from the normative standard of male or female body.

Prohibition against discrimination: Any person who is found to be compelling a transgender person into bonded labour denying right of public passage to a transgender person, evicting a transgender from his/her place of residence, causing physical, sexual, verbal, economic and emotional abuse, can be penalised with imprisonment of not less than six months, that can extend up to two years.

The bill has a provision that provides transgender the right of residence with parents and immediate family members.

Background:

The law was a consequence of the directions of the Supreme Court of India in the National Legal Services Authority vs. Union of India case judgment, mandating the Central and State governments to ensure legal recognition of all transgender persons and proactive measures instituted for their welfare.

It calls for establishing a National Council for Transgender persons (NCT).

The NCT will consist of:

  1. Union Minister for Social Justice (Chairperson)
  2. Minister of State for Social Justice (Vice-Chairperson)
  3. Secretary of the Ministry of Social Justice
  4. One representative from ministries including Health, Home Affairs, and Human Resources Development.
  5. Other members include representatives of the NITI Aayog and the National Human Rights Commission.  State governments will also be represented. The Council will also consist of five members from the transgender community and five experts from non-governmental organizations.

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. Transgender- definition.
  2. NCT- composition.
  3. How a bill is passed in the parliament- procedure to be followed.
  4. NHRC- composition.
  5. Overview of right to freedom and rights against discrimination.

Mains Link:

Discuss the significance of the act and concerns to be addressed.

Sources: the Hindu.

 

Topics Covered: Issues related to education.

Pragyata guidelines

PRAGYATA guidelines on digital education released.

  • The guidelines include eight steps of digital learning that is, Plan- Review- Arrange- Guide- Yak (talk)- Assign- Track- Appreciate

These steps guide the planning and implementation of digital education step by step with examples.

These are only advisory in nature and state governments can formulate their own rules, based on local needs.

The guidelines outline suggestions for administrators, school heads, teachers, parents and students on the following areas:

  1. Need Assessment.
  2. Concerns while planning online and digital education like duration, screen time, inclusiveness, Balanced online and off-line activities.
  3. Modalities of intervention including resource curation, level wise delivery etc.
  4. Physical, mental health and well-being during digital education.
  5. Cyber safety and ethical practices including precautions and measures maintaining cyber safety.

Need for guidelines on online education:

To mitigate the impact of the pandemic, schools will not only have to remodel and re-imagine the way teaching and learning have happened so far, but will also need to introduce a suitable method of delivering quality education through a healthy mix of schooling at home and schooling at school.

restricting_screen_time

Sources: the Hindu.

 

Topics Covered: Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests

Bilateral Trade and Investment Agreement (BTIA)

At the upcoming Virtual “EU- India Summit”, Leaders expected to give a kickstart to negotiations on the Bilateral Trade and Investment Agreement (BTIA) as the EU-India FTA is known, which have failed to be resumed despite several commitments by the leaders, including at the last E.U.-India summit in 2017.

Challenges ahead:

Negotiators are still “quite far apart” due to what Europe perceives as India’s “protectionist stance”.

Besides, Make in India programme has been accelerated by the COVID-19 crisis and recent pronouncements that India wants to go ‘Self reliant’ has added to the situation.

India- EU trade:

Trade with India formed under 3% of the E.U.’s global trade, which is “far below” what was expected of the relationship.

Conversely, the E.U. is India’s largest trading partner and investor, and accounts for 11% of India’s global trade.

About BTIA:

In June 2007, India and the EU began negotiations on a broad-based Bilateral Trade and Investment Agreement (BTIA) in Brussels, Belgium.

These negotiations are pursuant to the commitment made by political leaders at the 7th India-EU Summit held in Helsinki on 13th October 2006 to move towards negotiations for a broad-based trade and investment agreement on the basis of the report of India-EU High Level Technical Group.

 Significance:

India and the EU expect to promote bilateral trade by removing barriers to trade in goods and services and investment across all sectors of the economy.

Both parties believe that a comprehensive and ambitious agreement that is consistent with WTO rules and principles would open new markets and would expand opportunities for Indian and EU businesses.

 The negotiations cover:

Trade in Goods, Trade in Services, Investment, Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures, Technical Barriers to Trade, Trade Remedies, Rules of Origin, Customs and Trade Facilitation, Competition, Trade Defence, Government Procurement, Dispute Settlement, Intellectual Property Rights & Geographical Indications, Sustainable Development.

What’s the issue now?

Negotiations have been languishing since 2013 when the talks collapsed over certain demands from the EU such as greater market access for automobiles, wine and spirits, and further opening up of the financial services sector such as banking, insurance and e-commerce.

  • The EU also wanted labour, environment and government procurement to be included in the talks.

India’s demand for easier work visa and study visa norms as well as data secure status, that would make it easier for European companies to outsource business to India, were also not received enthusiastically by the EU countries.

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. BTIA- overview.
  2. What is Brexit?
  3. EU vs Eurozone.

Overview of:

  • South Asia Free Trade Agreement (SAFTA).
  • India-ASEAN Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (CECA).
  • India-Korea Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA).

Sources: the Hindu.

 


Facts for Prelims


Nagorno-Karabakh region:

Nagorno-Karabakh, also known as Artsakh, is a landlocked region in the South Caucasus, within the mountainous range of Karabakh.

It is internationally recognized as part of Azerbaijan.
What is the dispute?

The landlocked mountainous region of Nagorno-Karabakh is the subject of an unresolved dispute between Azerbaijan, in which it lies, and its ethnic Armenian majority, backed by neighbouring Armenia.

nagorno

Places in News- Dal lake:

  • It is the second largest in the Union territory of Jammu and Kashmir.
  • It is named the “Jewel in the crown of Kashmir” or “Srinagar’s Jewel”.
  • The lake is part of a natural wetland, including its floating gardens. The floating gardens, known as “Rad” in Kashmiri, blossom with lotus flowers during July and August.
  • The lake is located in the Zabarwan mountain valley, in the foothills of the Shankracharya hills, which surrounds it on three sides.

Places in News- Kaziranga National Park:

Located in the State of Assam.

It is the single largest undisturbed and representative area in the Brahmaputra Valley floodplain.

  • It was declared as a National Park in 1974. It has been declared a tiger reserve since 2007.
  • It was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Sitein 1985.
  • It is recognized as an Important Bird Area by BirdLife International.

Much of the focus of conservation efforts in Kaziranga are focused on the ‘big four’ species— rhino, elephant, Royal Bengal tiger and Asiatic water buffalo.

  • Kaziranga is also home to 9 of the 14 species of primates found in the Indian subcontinent.

World Youth Skills Day:

15th July is marked as World Youth Skills Day.

It was designated by the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in 2014.

Theme for 2020: “Skills for a Resilient Youth”.

The day also marks the 5th anniversary of the launch of Skill India Mission.

Articles to be covered tomorrow:

  1. What is a super capacitor?

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