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INSIGHTS DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS + PIB SUMMARY- 17 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 2:

1. Judicial review can’t be available prior to Speaker’s decision.

2. NISHTHA– National Initiative for School Heads and Teachers Holistic Advancement.

3. Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC).

 

GS Paper 3:

1. National Biopharma Mission (NBM).

2. Human Growth Hormone.

3. What is Non- Personal Data?

 

Facts for Prelims:

1. Which state in India recently decided to give preference to plasma donors in government jobs?

2. What is APT29 that was in news recently?

3. Places in News- Chattogram port.

4. India-Bhutan Open New Trade Route.

 


GS Paper  : 2


 

Topics Covered: Indian Constitution- historical underpinnings, evolution, features, amendments, significant provisions and basic structure.

Judicial review can’t be available prior to Speaker’s decision

  • Rajasthan Speaker CP Joshi has served notices to 19 Congress MLAs including Sachin Pilot asking them why they cannot be disqualified. The MLAs have time until July 17 to reply.

The Congress in its complaint to the Speaker has accused the rebel MLAs of attempting to jump parties.

Why has the Speaker served notice to the 19 Congress MLAs?

The notice has been served under the Tenth Schedule of the Constitution, popularly known as the anti-defection law.

Can the MLAs go to court at any time before the July 17 deadline to reply?

Courts have been extremely reluctant to interfere with the powers of the Speaker under the Tenth Schedule.

While deciding on the disqualification, the Speaker exercises powers that have been conferred to him under the Constitution.

  • Even when challenged, as it was in the case of Karnataka in 2019, the court gave time to the Speaker to decide on the pleas.

Supreme Court’s ruling in ‘Kihoto Hollohan vs Zachillhu And Others’ (1992) case:

  • The court upheld the sweeping discretion available to the Speaker in deciding cases of disqualification of MLAs.
  • While the Speaker’s decisions can be challenged subsequently, the court cannot stay or prevent the process.

Hence, judicial review cannot be available at a stage prior to the making of a decision by the Speaker/Chairman and a quia timet action would not be permissible. Nor would interference be permissible at an interlocutory stage of the proceedings.

  • Besides, the Court can review only infirmities based on violation of constitutional mandate, mala fides, non-compliance with rules of natural justice, and perversity.

Fundamental Rights in question:

Ousted Rajasthan Deputy Chief Minister Sachin Pilot and other 18 MLAs have approached the Rajasthan High Court challenging the constitutionality of Paragraph 2(1)(a) of the Tenth Schedule which makes “voluntarily giving up membership of a political party” liable for disqualification.

  • The MLAs have said the provision infringes into their right to express dissent and is a violation of their fundamental right to free speech as a legislator.

For Anti Defection law:

Refer: https://www.insightsonindia.com/2020/03/13/what-is-the-anti-defection-law-and-how-is-it-implemented/.

InstaLink:

Prelims Link:

  1. Names of various committees and commissions with regard to Anti Defection law.
  2. Overview of 52nd
  3. Committees vs Commissions.
  4. Decision of presiding officer vs Judicial review.
  5. Merger vs Split of political parties.
  6. Is anti- defection law applicable to the presiding officer?
  7. Relevant Supreme Court cases and verdicts.

Mains Link:

Examine the provisions of Anti- defection law. Has this law largely failed to meet its objective? Discuss.

Sources: the Hindu.

 

Topics Covered: Issues related to education.

NISHTHA– National Initiative for School Heads and Teachers Holistic Advancement

Context: Union HRD Minister launched the first on-line NISHTHA programme for 1,200 Key Resources Persons of Andhra Pradesh.

  • These resource persons will help in the mentoring of teachers of Andhra Pradesh, who will take online NISHTHA training on DIKSHA later on.

About NISHTHA:

The initiative is an Integrated Teacher Training Programme of the Department of School Education and Literacy, Ministry of HRD as part of its National Mission to improve learning outcomes at the Elementary level under the Centrally Sponsored Scheme of Samagra Shiksha.

  • In 2019, NISHTHA was launched in face-to-face mode. Thereafter, 33 states/UTs have launched this programme in their states/UTs.
  • Around 23,000 Key Resource Persons and 17.5 lakh teachers and school heads have been covered under this NISHTHA face to face mode till date.

Features:

It has activity based modules including educational games and quizzes, Social-emotional learning, motivational interactions, team building, preparation for school based assessment, in-built continuous feedback mechanism, online monitoring and support system, training need and impact analysis (Pre and Post training).

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. NISHTHA- implemented by?
  2. NISHTHA is related to?
  3. What is Samagra Shiksha?
  4. About DIKSHA platform.

Mains Link:

Discuss the key features and significance of NISHTHA programme.

Sources: pib.

 

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

UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC)

Context: Prime Minister to address High-Level Segment of ECOSOC.

The annual High-level Segment convenes a diverse group of high-level representatives from the Government, the private sector, civil society and academia.

  • Theme: “Multilateralism after COVID19: What kind of UN do we need at the 75th anniversary”.

About ECOSOC:

The UN Charter established ECOSOC in 1945 as one of the six main organs of the United Nations.

It is the principal body for coordination, policy review, policy dialogue and recommendations on economic, social and environmental issues, as well as implementation of internationally agreed development goals.

It has 54 Members, elected by the General Assembly for overlapping three-year terms. India is the member of ECOSOC (From 1 January 2018 – 31 December 2020)

  • It coordinates the work of the 14 UN specialized agencies, ten functional commissions and five regional commissions, receives reports from nine UN funds and programmes and issues policy recommendations to the UN system and to Member States.

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. Principal organs of the United Nations.
  2. ECOSOC- composition and functions.
  3. High Level Segment of ECOSOC.
  4. UNGA vs UNSC- key differences.

Sources: pib.

 


GS Paper  : 3


 

Topics Covered: Science and Technology- developments and their applications and effects in everyday life Achievements of Indians in science & technology; indigenization of technology and developing new technology.

National Biopharma Mission (NBM)

Context:

BIRAC has announced that ZyCoV-D, the plasmid DNA vaccine designed and developed by Zydus and partially funded by the Department of Biotechnology (DBT) has initiated Phase I/Phase II clinical trials in healthy subjects, making it the first indigenously developed vaccine for COVID-19 to be administered in humans in India.

  • DBT has partnered with Zydus to address rapid development of an indigenous vaccine for COVID-19 under the National Biopharma Mission.

About National Biopharma Mission (NBM):

It is an industry-academia collaborative mission for accelerating biopharmaceutical development in the country.

It was launched in 2017 at a total cost of Rs 1500 crore and is 50% co-funded by World Bank loan.

It is being implemented by the Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council (BIRAC).

  • Under this Mission, the Government has launched Innovate in India (i3) programme to create an enabling ecosystem to promote entrepreneurship and indigenous manufacturing in the biopharma sector.

It has a focus on following four verticals:

  1. Development of product leads for Vaccines , Biosimilars and Medical Devices that are relevant to the public health need by focussing on managed partnerships.
  2. Upgradation of shared infrastructure facilities and establishing them as centres of product discovery/discovery validations and manufacturing.
  3. Developing human capital by providing specific training.
  4. Developing technology transfer offices to help enhance industry academia inter-linkages.

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. National Biopharma Mission- objectives and components.
  2. What is Innovate in India (i3) programme?
  3. About BIRAC.
  4. Difference between DNA and RNA vaccines.

Mains Link:

Discuss the features and significance of NBM.

Sources: pib.

 

Topics Covered: Awareness in the fields of IT, Space, Computers, robotics, nano-technology, bio-technology and issues relating to intellectual property rights.

Human Growth Hormone

Context: In a first-of-its-kind case, a 2018 Commonwealth Games silver medallist and reigning national champion weightlifter- Pradeep Singh has tested positive for Human Growth Hormone (HGH).

  • He has been handed a provisional four-year suspension after his blood sample tested positive for HGH, which is prohibited in and out of competition by the World Anti- Doping Agency.

What is HGH?

It is known to increase muscle mass, strength as well as tissue- repairing effects, which has been used as a doping agent in power and endurance sports

It is produced in the body and secreted by the pituitary gland near the base of the brain.

  • When the gland releases the growth hormone, it results in the secretion of a protein called IGF-1 from the liver. This protein is what ultimately stimulates the growth of bones, muscles and other tissues.

About WADA:

The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) is a foundation initiated by the International Olympic Committee based in Canada to promote, coordinate and monitor the fight against drugs in sports.

It was established in 1999 as an international independent agency composed and funded equally by the sport movement and governments of the world.

Headquartered in Montreal, Canada.

  • The agency’s key activities include scientific research, education, development of anti-doping capacities, and monitoring of the World Anti-Doping Code, whose provisions are enforced by the UNESCO International Convention against Doping in Sport.

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. Brief overview of UNESCO International Convention against Doping in Sport.
  2. About WADA.
  3. International Olympic Committee.
  4. What is HGH? Where is it released?
  5. Role of HGH.
  6. IGF- 1 protein is related to?

Mains Link:

Write a note on the functions of World Anti- Doping Agency.

Sources: Indian Express.

 

Topics Covered: Cyber security related issues.

What is Non- Personal Data?

Committee of Experts on Non-Personal Data Governance Framework has released a draft.

  • This government committee (formed in 2019) headed by Infosys co-founder Kris Gopalakrishnan has suggested that non-personal data generated in the country be allowed to be harnessed by various domestic companies and entities. 

What is non-personal data?

Any set of data which does not contain personally identifiable information. This means that no individual or living person can be identified by looking at such data.

  • For example, while order details collected by a food delivery service will have the name, age, gender, and other contact information of an individual, it will become non-personal data if the identifiers such as name and contact information are taken out.

Classification:

The government committee has classified non-personal data into three main categories, namely:

  1. Public non-personal data: All the data collected by government and its agencies such as census, data collected by municipal corporations on the total tax receipts in a particular period or any information collected during execution of all publicly funded works.
  2. Community non-personal data: Any data identifiers about a set of people who have either the same geographic location, religion, job, or other common social interests will form the community non-personal data.
  3. Private non-personal data: Those which are produced by individuals which can be derived from application of proprietary software or knowledge.

Suggestions made:

  1. Formulate a separate legislation to govern non-personal data.
  2. Setup a new regulatory body- Non-Personal Data Authority (NPDA). 
  3. The report identifies and defines new stakeholders in the non-personal data ecosystem, including data principal, data custodian, data trustee, and data trust, and contours their obligations and mechanisms to enable data sharing.
  4. It has also set circumstances under which a private organisation, that collects non-personal data, needs to be remunerated.

Need for regulation:

Digital transformations all over the world have meant that data is treated as an asset, which is monetised, either directly by trading it, or indirectly by developing a service on top of that data.

  • In a data economy, companies with “largest data pools have outsized and seized unbeatable techno-economic advantages.” These companies, having leveraged their “first-mover advantage” to create large pools of data, mean that smaller startups are often squeezed out of the competition, or there are significant barriers to their entry. 

India, being the second-most populous country in the world, also with the second-largest smartphone userbase, is by extension, one of the largest data markets in the world.

What are the global standards on non-personal data?

In May 2019, the European Union came out with a regulation framework for the free flow of non-personal data in the European Union, in which it suggested that member states of the union would cooperate with each other when it came to data sharing.

In several other countries across the world, there are no nationwide data protection laws, whether for personal or non-personal data.

What should the final draft include?

Final draft of the non-personal data governance framework must clearly:

  1. Define the roles for all participants, such as the data principal, the data custodian, and data trustees.
  2. Regulation must be clear, and concise to provide certainty to its market participants.
  3. Demarcate roles and responsibilities of participants in the regulatory framework.

Sources: Indian Express.

 


Facts for Prelims


Which state in India recently decided to give preference to plasma donors in government jobs?

Assam government has decided to Give Preference To Plasma Donors In Government Jobs.

Other benefits announced:

  1. They can entail extra marks in interviews.
  2. They will get a certificate.
  3. Government is also considering giving preference to them in government schemes.
  4. People of other States who donate plasma would be provided with State guest house facilities if they visit Assam and the State government would bear the cost of their return air ticket.

What is APT29 that was in news recently?

APT29 (also known as ‘the Dukes’ or ‘Cozy Bear’) is a cyber espionage group, almost certainly part of the Russian intelligence services.

  • The group uses a variety of tools and techniques to predominantly target governmental, diplomatic, think-tank, healthcare and energy targets for intelligence gain.
  • APT29 is using custom malware known as ‘WellMess’ and ‘WellMail’ to target a number of organisations globally.
  • Now, it is accused of trying to steal vaccine data.

Places in News- Chattogram Port:

Context: first trial container ship flagged off from Kolkata to Agartala through Chattogram Port of Bangladesh.

The ship has been launched under the Agreement on the use of Chattogram and Mongla Ports for the movement of India’s transit cargo through Bangladesh.

India-Bhutan Open New Trade Route:

India and Bhutan have opened a new trade route between Jaigaon in West Bengal and Pasakha in Bhutan.

  • This new land route for movement of industrial raw materials and goods destined for Pasakha Industrial Estate will boost bilateral trade and commerce and lead to decongestion of vehicular traffic along the Jaigaon-Phuentsholing route.

India_Bhutan

 

Articles to be covered tomorrow:

  1. Maternal Mortality rate.
  2. Kerala Act on animal and bird sacrifices.

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