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INSIGHTS DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS + PIB SUMMARY- 25 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. Governors of States in India.

2. Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana- Gramin (PMAY-G).

3. African Swine Fever.

 

GS Paper 3:

1. What is this Currency Swap Arrangement (CSA)?

2. Tianwen-1.

 

Facts for Prelims:

1. India Ideas Summit.

2. Indian Red Cross Society (IRCS).

 


GS Paper  : 2


 

Topics Covered: Appointment to various Constitutional posts, powers, functions and responsibilities of various Constitutional Bodies.

Governors of States in India:

Context:

President of India has appointed Anandiben Patel, Governor of Uttar Pradesh to discharge the functions of the Governor of Madhya Pradesh, in addition to her own duties.

Governors of States in India:

A governor is a nominal head of a state, unlike the Chief Minister who is the real head of a state in India.

According to 7th Constitutional Amendment Act 1956, the same person can be the Governor of two or more states.

Appointment: The governors and lieutenant-governors are appointed by the president.

 Removal:

The term of governor’s office is normally 5 years but it can be terminated earlier by: Dismissal by the president (usually on the advice of the prime minister of the country), at whose pleasure the governor holds office or Resignation by the governor. Thus, the term is subject to pleasure of the president.

There is no provision of impeachment, as it happens for the president.

Some discretionary powers are as follows:

Can dissolve the legislative assembly if the chief minister advices him to do following a vote of no confidence. Following which, it is up to the Governor what he/ she would like to do.

Can recommend the president about the failure of the constitutional machinery in the state.

Can reserve a bill passed by the state legislature for president’s assent.

Can appoint anybody as chief minister If there is no political party with a clear-cut majority in the assembly.

Determines the amount payable by the Government of Assam, Meghalaya, Tripura and Mizoram to an autonomous Tribal District Council as royalty accruing from licenses for mineral exploration.

Can seek information from the chief minister with regard to the administrative and legislative matters of the state.

Can refuse to sign to an ordinary bill passed by the state legislature.

Problem with constitutional design:

The governor is merely appointed by the president on the advice of the Central government.

Unlike the president, a governor does not have a fixed term. He/she holds office at the pleasure of the ruling party in the centre.

Both the manner of the appointment and the uncertainty of tenure conspire to make the incumbent an object of the Central government in politically charged circumstances.

Sources: pib.

 

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.

Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana- Gramin (PMAY-G):

Context:

1.10 crore houses completed under Pradhan Mantri Awaas Yojana-Gramin.

About PMAY- G:

Ministry: Ministry of Rural Development.

The erstwhile rural housing scheme Indira Awaas yojana (IAY) has been restructured into Pradhan Mantri Awaas Yojana –Gramin (PMAY-G) from 01.04.2016.

PMAY-G aims at providing a pucca house, with basic amenities, to all houseless householder and those households living in kutcha and dilapidated house, by 2022.

Target: Construction of 2.95 crore houses with all basic amenities by the year 2022.

Cost sharing:

The cost of unit assistance in this scheme is shared between Central and State Governments in the ratio 60:40 in plain areas and 90: 10 for North Eastern and Himalayan States.

The scheme envisages training of Rural Masons with the objective of improving workmanship and quality of construction of houses while at the same time, increasing availability of skilled masons and enhancing employability of such masons.

 Selection of beneficiaries:

Based on housing deprivation parameters of Socio-Economic and Caste Census (SECC), 2011, subject to 13 point exclusion criteria, followed by Gram Sabha verification.

Sources: pib.

 

Topics Covered: Issues related to health.

African Swine Fever (ASF):

Context:

The porcine industry in Assam suffered major losses during the COVID-19 lockdown, which was followed by an outbreak of African Swine Fever (ASF) that has killed more than 17,000 pigs in Assam and over 4,500 in Arunachal Pradesh.

  • The current outbreak of ASF in India is the first time that the disease has been reported in the country.

Affected countries:

As per the latest update issued by the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), the current outbreak of ASF has affected China, Mongolia, Vietnam, Cambodia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Republic of Korea and Indonesia among others.

About African Swine Fever (ASF):

  • ASF is a highly contagious and fatal animal disease that infects domestic and wild pigs, typically resulting in an acute form of hemorrhagic fever.
  • It was first detected in Africa in the 1920s.
  • The mortality is close to 100 per cent, and since the fever has no cure, the only way to stop it spreading is by culling the animals.
  • ASF is not a threat to human beings since it only spreads from animals to other animals.
  • According to the FAO, “its extremely high potential for transboundary spread has placed all the countries in the region in danger and has raised the spectre of ASF once more escaping from Africa. It is a disease of growing strategic importance for global food security and household income”.

Sources: Indian Express.

 


GS Paper  : 3


 

Topics Covered: Indian Economy and issues relating to planning, mobilization of resources, growth, development and employment.

What is this Currency Swap Arrangement (CSA)?

Context:

The Reserve Bank of India has agreed to a $400 million currency swap facility for Sri Lanka till November 2022.

What is this Currency Swap Arrangement (CSA)?

An arrangement between two friendly countries to involve in trading in their own local currencies.

As per the arrangements, both countries pay for import and export trade at the pre-determined rates of exchange, without bringing in third country currency like the US Dollar.

In such arrangements no third country currency is involved, thereby eliminating the need to worry about exchange variations.

Significance of the agreement:

  • Improves the confidence in the Indian market.
  • Enables the agreed amount of capital being available to India.
  • Bring down the cost of capital for Indian entities while accessing the foreign capital market.
  • Aids in bringing greater stability to foreign exchange and capital markets in India.

Sources: the Hindu.

 

Topics Covered: Awareness in space.

Tianwen-1:

Context:

On July 22, China launched its Mars mission.

  • Known as Tianwen-1, the mission name is loosely translated to “questions to Heaven.”

Key points you should know:

  • China’s first Mars probe is called Tianwen-1 (formerly Huoxing 1).
  • The spacecraft consists of an orbiter, a lander and a rover.
  • Launched on a Long March 5 rocket from Xichang, China.
  • Landing site: Somewhere in Utopia Planitia, a vast plain in Mars’ northern latitudes and the same place NASA’s Viking 2 mission landed in the 1970s. 
  • Tianwen-1 will reach the Red Planet’s orbit in February 2021. The rover will land on Mars in May.
  • If the mission is successful, China will become the third country to achieve a Mars landing after the USSR and the United States.

 There are five core science objectives:

  1. Create a geological map of Mars.
  2. Explore the characteristics of the Martian soil and potentially locate water-ice deposits.
  3. Analyze the surface material composition.
  4. Investigate the Martian atmosphere and climate at the surface.
  5. Understand the electromagnetic and gravitational fields of the planet.

Insta Facts:

  • This is a busy week for Mars missions, with the UAE having launched HOPE mission on 19th July and NASA to launch its own rover on July 30- ‘Perseverance’.
  • This is a period that offers a window for such launches, with the alignment of Earth and Mars allowing a short journey.

JPL

Sources: the Hindu.

 


Facts for Prelims


India Ideas Summit:

Context: Recently India Ideas Summit has been concluded with the theme ‘Building a Better Future’.

  • Organized by the US India Business Council (USIBC).
  • It is a platform to convene scholars, practitioners, diplomats and think tanks for high-level dialogue on key issues related to India.
  • 2020 marks the 45th anniversary of USIBC.

USIBC was formed in 1975 as a business advocacy organization to enlighten and encourage the private sectors of both India and the United States to enhance investment flows.

Indian Red Cross Society (IRCS):

  • Established in 1920 under the Indian Red Cross Society Act and incorporated under Parliament Act XV of 1920
  • It is a voluntary humanitarian organization having a network of over 1100 branches throughout the country, providing relief in times of disasters/emergencies and promotes health & care of the vulnerable people and communities.
  • It is a leading member of the largest independent humanitarian organization in the world, the International Red Cross & Red Crescent Movement.
  • Honourable President of India is the President and Hon’ble Union Health Minister is the Chairman of the Society.
  • The Chairman and 6 members are nominated by the President. The remaining 12 are elected by the state and union territory branches through an electoral college.

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