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INSIGHTS DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS + PIB SUMMARY- 24 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.

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Table of Contents:

GS Paper 1:

1. Chandra Shekhar Azad.

2. Bal Gangadhar Tilak.

3. Govt sanctions permanent commission to women officers in Indian Army.

 

GS Paper 2:

1. 24% of Rajya Sabha members face criminal cases.

2. General Financial Rules.

 

Facts for Prelims:

1. Indian Scholastic Assessment (Ind-SAT) Test.

 


GS Paper  : 1


 

Topics Covered: Modern Indian history from about the middle of the eighteenth century until the present- significant events, personalities, issues.

Chandra Shekhar Azad

Context:

23rd July- Birth Anniversary.

What you need to know about Chandra Shekhar Azad?

  • Born on July 23, 1906, at Bhavra, Alirajpur District in present-day Madhya Pradesh.
  • He took part in non-cooperation movement when he was 15.
  • After the suspension of the non-cooperation movement in 1922 by Gandhi, Azad joined Hindustan Republican Association (HRA).
  • HRA was later reorganised as the Hindustan Socialist Republican Army (HSRA) in 1928.
  • Azad was involved in the 1925 Kakori Conspiracy.
  • He died at Azad Park in Allahabad on 27th February 1931.
  • Other cases Azad was involved in include the 1926 attempt to blow up the viceroy’s train, and the shooting of J P Saunders in 1928. Saunders was assassinated to avenge the death of Lala Lajpat Rai.

Why he is called “Azad”?

He was arrested because of his participation in the non-cooperation movement. When produced by the magistrate, he proudly announced his name as ‘Azad’, his father’s name as ‘Swatantrata’ and his place of dwelling as ‘Jail’. It was from then on that the name ‘Azad’ stuck to him.

Sources: pib.

 

Topics Covered: Modern Indian history from about the middle of the eighteenth century until the present- significant events, personalities, issues.

Bal Gangadhar Tilak

Context:

23rd July- Birth Anniversary.

Key points:

  • His famous declaration “Swaraj is my birthright, and I shall have it” served as an inspiration for future revolutionaries during India’s struggle for freedom.
  • The British Government termed him as the “Father of Indian Unrest” and his followers bequeathed upon him the title of ‘Lokmanya’meaning he who is revered by the people.

Ideology:

  • Tilak joined the Indian National Congress in 1890. He soon started vocalizing his strong opposition to the moderate views of the party on self-rule.
  • He maintained that simple constitutional agitation in itself was futile against the British. This subsequently made him stand against the prominent Congress leader, Gopal Krishna Gokhale.
  • He wanted an armed revolt to broom-away the British. Following the partition of Bengal by Lord Curzon, Tilak wholeheartedly supported the Swadeshi (Indigenous) movement and Boycott of British goods.
  • Due to this fundamental difference in outlook, Tilak and his supporters came to be known as the extremist wing of INC.
  • Tilak’s endeavours were supported by fellow nationalists Bipin Chandra Pal of Bengal and Lala Lajpat Rai of Punjab.
  • He was a great reformer and throughout his life he advocated the cause of women education and women empowerment.
  • Tilak proposed Grand celebrations on ‘Ganesh Chaturthi’ and ‘Shivaji Jayanti’. He envisioned these celebrations inciting a sense of unity and inspiring nationalist sentiment among Indians.

Protests and Imprisonment:

  • Tilak protested against the oppressive nature of the British efforts and wrote provocative articles on it in his newspapers on the epidemic of Plague in Pune and adjacent regions.
  • His article inspired the Chapekar brothers and they carried out assassination of Commissioner Rand and Lt. Ayerst on June 22, 1897. As a result of this, Tilak was imprisoned for 18 months on Sedition charges for inciting murder.
  • He openly supported the revolutionaries Khudiram Bose and Prafulla Chaki’s efforts to assassinate Chief Presidency Magistrate in 1908. He continued to write during his years of imprisonment and the most prominent of which is Gita Rahasya.

Tilak and All India Home Rule League:

  • Deciding to re-unite with his fellow nationalists, Tilak founded the All India Home Rule League in 1916with Joseph Baptista, Annie Besant and Muhammad Ali Jinnah.
  • He rejoined the INC but could not bring about reconciliation between the two opposite-minded factions.

Newspapers:

  • Towards his nationalistic goals, Bal Gangadhar Tilak published two newspapers –‘Mahratta’ (English) and ‘Kesari’ (Marathi).
  • Tilak fearlessly published reports about the havoc caused by famine and plague and the government’s utter irresponsibility and indifference about ‘Famine Relief fund’.

Education:

  • As a founding father of the Deccan Education Society created in 1884.
  • The Society established the Fergusson College in 1885 for post-secondary studies. Tilak taught mathematics at Fergusson College.

Sources: pib.

 

Topics Covered: Issues related to women.

Govt sanctions permanent commission to women officers in Indian Army

Context:

The Ministry of Defence has issued the formal government sanction letter for grant of Permanent Commission (PC) to Women Officers in the Indian Army.

  • The order specifies grant of permanent commission to Short Service Commissioned (SSC) Women Officers in all ten streams of the Indian Army.
  • The 10 streams are: Army Air Defence (AAD), Signals, Engineers, Army Aviation, Electronics and Mechanical Engineers (EME), Army Service Corps (ASC), Army Ordnance Corps (AOC), and Intelligence Corps in addition to the existing streams of Judge and Advocate General (JAG) and Army Educational Corps (AEC).

Background:

Earlier this month, the Supreme Court had granted one more month to the Centre to implement its verdict directing that permanent commission be given to all serving SSC women officers in the Army. The top court’s direction came on an application filed by the Centre seeking six months’ time for implementation of the verdict citing the Covid-19 pandemic.

Significance of the move:

This paves the way for empowering Women Officers to shoulder larger roles in the organisation.

Note:

This issue has been covered in detail previously on:

Sources: pib.

 


GS Paper  : 2


 

Topics Covered: Salient features of the Representation of People’s Act.

24% of Rajya Sabha members face criminal cases

Context:

Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) has analysed self-sworn affidavits of Rajya Sabha MPs and released a report.

Key findings:

  • An analysis of 229 of the 233 Rajya Sabha seats that represent the States and Union Territories showed that 54 MPs or 24% had declared criminal cases.
  • Out of the 229 MPs, 28 or 12% had declared serious criminal cases.
  • 203 of the 229 MPs or 89% of those analysed had declared assets over ₹1crore.

Efforts by Supreme Court in this regard:

  1. Public Interest Foundation v. Union of India(2018): mandatory for political parties to declare and publish all criminal cases pending against their candidates.
  2. Association for Democratic Reforms(ADR) v. Union of Indian (2002): Obligatory for all candidates to file an affidavit before the returning officer, disclosing criminal cases pending against them.
  3. PUCL v. Union of India (2013): Upheld the constitutional right of citizens to cast a negative vote in elections.
  4. Lily Thomas v. Union of India (2013): Struck down as unconstitutional Section 8(4) of the Representation of the People Act that allowed convicted lawmakers a three-month period for filing appeals to the higher court and to get a stay on the conviction and sentence.
  5. Public Interest Foundation and Ors. v Union of India (2014): Directed all subordinate courts to decide on cases involving legislators within a year, or give reasons for not doing so to the chief justice of the high court.
  6. In February 2020, the court had asked the particle parties to state “The reasons for such selection, as also as to why other individuals without criminal antecedents could not be selected as candidates.” If a political party fails to comply, it would be in contempt of this court’s orders.

What does the RPA say on this?

Currently, under the Representation of Peoples (RP) Act, lawmakers cannot contest elections only after their conviction in a criminal case.

Section 8 of the Representation of the People (RP) Act, 1951 disqualifies a person convicted with a sentence of two years or more from contesting elections. But those under trial continued to be eligible to contest elections.

What is the way out?

  • Political parties should themselves refuse tickets to the tainted.
  • The RP Act should be amended to debar persons against whom cases of a heinous nature are pending from contesting elections.
  • Fast-track courts should decide the cases of tainted legislators quickly.
  • Bring greater transparency in campaign financing.
  • The Election Commission of India (ECI) should have the power to audit the financial accounts of political parties.

Sources: the Hindu.

 

Topics Covered: Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.

General Financial Rules:

Context:

The government has amended the General Financial Rules, 2017, imposing restrictions on public procurement from bidders of countries that share a land border with India, citing grounds of defence and national security.

  • The central government has also directed state governments to implement this order for all public procurement.

As per the amendments:

Bidders from these countries will be eligible only if they are registered with the Registration Committee constituted by the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT).

They will also be required to take mandatory political and security clearance from the ministries of External Affairs and Home.

Exceptions:

Relaxation will be provided for procurement of Covid medical supplies till December 31.

Also, the order for prior registration will not apply for countries to which the government extends lines of credit or provides development assistance, even if they share a land border with India.

Background:

These measures follow a series of steps that have been taken in recent months to prevent influx of Chinese products and investments into India.

On June 23, the government made it mandatory for sellers on the Government e-Marketplace (GeM) portal to clarify the country of origin of goods when registering new products.

In April, the government amended FDI rules mandating prior approval for investment by entities in countries that share land borders with India.

What are GFRs?

They are set of rules that deal with matters that involve public finances.

They were first issued in 1947 bringing together all the existing orders.

They are instructions that pertain to financial matters.

  • They lay down the general rules applicable to Ministries / Departments, and detailed instructions relating to procurement of goods are issued by the procuring departments broadly in conformity with the general rules, while maintaining flexibility to deal with varied situations.

Sources: pib.

 


Facts for Prelims


Indian Scholastic Assessment (Ind-SAT) Test:

Context:

Union HRD Ministry holds the first-ever INDSAT exam under ‘Study in India’ Programme.

  • Ind-SAT is an exam for grant of scholarships and admissions to foreign students for studying in select Indian universities under the Study in India programme.

 

Articles to be covered tomorrow:

  1. China’s Mars mission.

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