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INSIGHTS DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS + PIB SUMMARY- 12 August 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. Mount Sinabung.

 

GS Paper 2:

1. Clause 6 of the Assam Accord.

2. Supreme Court verdict on Hindu women’s inheritance rights.

3. NSCN-IM releases details of 2015 Naga framework agreement.

4. What is the new tick-borne virus?

 

GS Paper 3:

1. Student Entrepreneurship Programme.

2. What is SpaceX’s SN5 Starship prototype?

 

Facts for Prelims:

1. Sputnik V.

 


GS Paper  : 1


 

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

Mount Sinabung:


Location: North Sumatra, Indonesia.

Why in News?

The volcano has become active once again. The volcano became active in 2010, erupting after nearly 400 years of inactivity.

Background:

Indonesia is home to many active volcanoes, due to its position on the “Ring of Fire”, or the Circum-Pacific Belt, which is an area along the Pacific Ocean characterised by active volcanoes and frequent earthquakes.

  • The Ring of Fire is home to about 75 per cent of the world’s volcanoes and about 90 per cent of its earthquakes.

Why do volcanoes erupt?

A volcano can be active, dormant or extinct.

An eruption takes place when magma (a thick flowing substance), formed when the earth’s mantle melts, rises to the surface.

Because magma is lighter than solid rock, it is able to rise through vents and fissures on the surface of the earth. After it has erupted, it is called lava.

When are they explosive?

Not all volcanic eruptions are explosive, since explosivity depends on the composition of the magma.

  • When the magma is runny and thin, gases can easily escape it, in which case, the magma will flow out towards the surface.
  • On the other hand, if the magma is thick and dense, gases cannot escape it, which builds up pressure inside until the gases escape in a violent explosion.

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. Why are some volcanoes explosive?
  2. Location of Pacific Ring of Fire.
  3. Where do volcanoes mostly occur?
  4. What are convergent and divergent plate boundaries?
  5. Types of volcanoes.
  6. Landforms formed by volcanic eruptions.

Mains Link:

What is a complex volcano? Discuss the salient features with suitable illustrations.

type_of_volcano

Sources: Indian Express.

 


GS Paper  : 2


 

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

Clause 6 of the Assam Accord:


Context:

In February, a government-appointed committee had submitted its recommendations for implementation of Clause 6 of the Assam Accord, a key provision that has been contentious for decades. The government made the report public recently.

Background:

The committee was set up by the Home Ministry in 2019. 

Headed by retired High Court judge Biplab Kumar Sarma.

  • Its brief was to define the “Assamese people” and suggest measures for the safeguard of their rights.

What does Clause 6 say?

Clause 6 of the Assam Accord, which was signed in 1985 after the Assam Agitation of 1979-85, envisages that appropriate “constitutional, legislative and administrative safeguards should be provided to protect, preserve and promote the cultural, social, linguistic identity and heritage of the people of Assam.”

  • This Clause was inserted to safeguard the socio-political rights and culture of the “indigenous people of Assam”.

What is Assam Accord?

It was a Memorandum of Settlement (MoS) signed between representatives of the Government of India and the leaders of the Assam Movement in New Delhi on 15 August 1985.

For recognition as citizens, the Accord sets March 24, 1971 as the cutoff.

Key recommendations made by the committee:

The committee has proposed that the following be considered Assamese people for the purpose of Clause 6:

All citizens of India who are part of:

  1. Assamese community, residing in the Territory of Assam on or before January 1, 1951; or
  2. Any indigenous tribal community of Assam residing in the territory of Assam on or before January 1, 1951; or
  3. Any other indigenous community of Assam residing in the territory of Assam on or before January 1, 1951; or
  4. All other citizens of India residing in the territory of Assam on or before January 1, 1951; and
  5. Descendants of the above categories.

Implications and impacts of these recommendations:

Clause 6 is meant to give the Assamese people certain safeguards, which would not be available to migrants between 1951 and 1971.

  • If the recommendation is accepted, those who migrated between 1951 and 1971 would be Indian citizens under the Assam Accord and NRC, but they would not be eligible for safeguards meant for “Assamese people”.

What are these safeguards?

  1. 80 to 100% reservation in the parliamentary seats of Assam, Assembly seats and local body seats be reserved for the “Assamese people”.
  2. 80 to 100% of Group C and D level posts (in Assam) in central government/semi-central government/central PSUs/private sector
  3. 80 to 100% of jobs under Government of Assam and state government undertakings; and 70 to 100% of vacancies arising in private partnerships
  4. Land rights, with restrictions imposed on transferring land by any means to persons other than “Assamese people”.
  5. Several other recommendations deal with language, and cultural and social rights.

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. What is Assam Accord? When was it signed?
  2. What was the Assam Agitation all about?
  3. Signatories of the accord.
  4. Clause 6 of the Accord.
  5. Biplab Kumar Sarma Committee is related to?
  6. Cut- off date set by the accord for recognition as citizens.

Mains Link:

Discuss why Clause 6 of Assam Accord is controversial.

Sources: Indian Express.

 

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

Supreme Court verdict on Hindu women’s inheritance rights:


Context:

Supreme Court has expanded on a Hindu woman’s right to be a joint legal heir and inherit ancestral property on terms equal to male heirs.

What is the ruling?

A Hindu woman’s right to be a joint heir to the ancestral property is by birth and does not depend on whether her father was alive or not when the law was enacted in 2005.

  • The ruling now overrules the verdicts from 2015 and April 2018.

 How did the case come about?

While the 2005 law granted equal rights to women, questions were raised in multiple cases on whether the law applied retrospectively, and if the rights of women depended on the living status of the father through whom they would inherit.

 About the Hindu Succession (Amendment) Act, 2005:

  • It gave Hindu women the right to be coparceners or joint legal heirs in the same way a male heir does.
  • The amended act made a daughter of a coparcener also a coparcener by birth “in her own right in the same manner as the son”.
  • The law also gave the daughter the same rights and liabilities “in the coparcenary property as she would have had if she had been a son”.
  • Applicability of the law: It applies to ancestral property and to intestate succession in personal property — where succession happens as per law and not through a will.

Background of the case:

Different benches of the Supreme Court and various High Courts had taken conflicting views on the issue.

  • In Prakash v Phulwati (2015), the Supreme Court held that the benefit of the 2005 amendment could be granted only to “living daughters of living coparceners” as on September 9, 2005 (the date when the amendment came into force).
  • In February 2018, contrary to the 2015 ruling, the Court held that the share of a father who died in 2001 will also pass to his daughters as coparceners during the partition of the property as per the 2005 law.
  • Then in April that year, the Court reiterated the position taken in 2015.

These conflicting views by Benches of equal strength led to a reference to a three-judge Bench in the current case.

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. Key provisions of the Hindu Succession (Amendment) Act, 2005.
  2. Applicability of the law.
  3. Different benches of the Supreme Court.
  4. What is review petition? Who can file a review petition in the Supreme Court?

Mains Link:

Discuss the significance of latest supreme court judgement related to the Hindu Succession Act.

Sources: Indian Express.

 

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

NSCN-IM releases details of 2015 Naga framework agreement:


Context:

The National Socialist Council of Nagaland-IM has for the first time released the details of the 2015 framework agreement.

  • It has also accused interlocutor R.N. Ravi of deleting a key word from the original document and sharing the modified version with other Naga groups.

What’s the issue?

The agreement released by the NSCN-IM stated “sharing the sovereign power” and provide for an “enduring inclusive new relationship of peaceful co-existence of the two entities”. 

However, it is alleged that Mr. Ravi, also Nagaland Governor, “craftily deleted the word new from the original” and circulated to the other Naga groups including the Naga National Political Groups (NNPGs).

What are the demands?

  1. The NSCN claimed that the word ‘new’ is politically sensitive as it goes to define the meaning of peaceful co-existence of the two entities (two sovereign powers) and it strongly indicates outside the purview of the Constitution.
  2. It has demanded that the Centre should come out with an undertaking that the framework agreement is still alive in its original form and “to be handled by somebody other than RN Ravi” who is sensitive enough to understand and respect what has been achieved during the past 23 years.

Background:

Naga talks have hit a rough weather as the NSCN-IM has demanded that the present interlocutor be removed from the position.

  • The NSCN-IM has been fighting for ‘Greater Nagaland’ or Nagalim — it wants to extend Nagaland’s borders by including Naga-dominated areas in neighbouring Assam, Manipur and Arunachal Pradesh, to unite 1.2 million Nagas.
  • The Centre has said there will be no disintegration of Assam, Arunachal Pradesh and Manipur to merge the Naga inhabited areas with Nagaland.

How old is the Naga political issue?

Pre- independence:

  • The British annexed Assam in 1826, and in 1881, the Naga Hills too became part of British India. The first sign of Naga resistance was seen in the formation of the Naga Club in 1918, which told the Simon Commission in 1929 “to leave us alone to determine for ourselves as in ancient times”.
  • In 1946 came the Naga National Council (NNC), which declared Nagaland an independent state on August 14, 1947.
  • The NNC resolved to establish a “sovereign Naga state” and conducted a “referendum” in 1951, in which “99 per cent” supported an “independent” Nagaland.

Post- independence:

On March 22, 1952, underground Naga Federal Government (NFG) and the Naga Federal Army (NFA) were formed. The Government of India sent in the Army to crush the insurgency and, in 1958, enacted the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act.

When did the NSCN come into being?

A group of about 140 members led by Thuingaleng Muivah, who were at that time in China, refused to accept the Shillong Accord, and formed the National Socialist Council of Nagaland in 1980.

  • As per the accord, NNC and NFG agreed to give up arms.
  • In 1988, the NSCN split into NSCN (IM) and NSCN (K) after a violent clash.

greater_nagalim

Sources: the Hindu.

 

Topics Covered: Issues related to health.

What is the new tick-borne virus?


Context:

This new virus is rapidly spreading in China.

It causes a disease called Severe Fever with Thrombocytopenia Syndrome (SFTS).

What’s the concern now?

  • While the disease is transferred to humans through tick bites, Chinese virologists have warned that human-to-human transmission of the virus cannot be ruled out.
  • The current case fatality rate rests between approximately 16 and 30 per cent.
  • Due to the rate at which it spreads and its high fatality rate, SFTS has been listed among the top 10 priority diseases blue print by the World Health Organisation (WHO).
  • Unlike SARS-CoV-2 however, this is not the first time the SFTS virus has infected people. The recent spate of cases merely marks a re-emergence of the disease.

What is the SFTS virus?

Severe fever with thrombocytopenia syndrome virus (SFTSV) belongs to the Bunyavirus family and is transmitted to humans through tick bites.

The virus was first identified by a team of researchers in China over a decade ago.

How it spreads?

An Asian tick called Haemaphysalis longicornis is the primary vector, or carrier, of the virus.

Scientists have found that the virus is often transmitted to humans from animals like goats, cattle, deer and sheep.

What are the symptoms of the SFTFS virus?

According to a study conducted by a team of Chinese researchers in 2011, the incubation period is anywhere between seven and 13 days after the onset of the illness. Patients suffering from the disease usually experience a whole range of symptoms, including, fever, fatigue, chill, headache, lymphadenopathy, anorexia, nausea, myalgia, diarrhea, vomiting, abdominal pain, gingival hemorrhage, conjunctival congestion, and so on.

How is SFTS treated?

While a vaccine to treat the disease is yet to be successfully developed, the antiviral drug Ribavirin is known to be effective in treating the illness.

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. About the Severe Fever with Thrombocytopenia Syndrome (SFTS).
  2. How is it caused?
  3. Countries affected.
  4. What are the symptoms?
  5. Is there any vaccine for this?
  6. Top 10 priority diseases blue print by the World Health Organisation (WHO).

Sources: Indian Express.

 


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.

Student Entrepreneurship Programme:


Context:

Atal Innovation Mission (AIM), NITI Aayog, in collaboration with Dell Technologies has launched Student Entrepreneurship Programme 2.0 (SEP 2.0) for young innovators of Atal Tinkering Labs (ATLs).

About SEP 2.0 and its significance:

It will allow student innovators to work closely with Dell volunteers.

  • They will receive mentor support; prototyping and testing support; end-user feedback; intellectual property registration and patenting of ideas, processes, and products; manufacturing support; as well as the launch support of the product in the market.

About Student Entrepreneurship Programme:

SEP 1.0 began in January 2019.

Through a 10-month-long rigorous programme, the top 6 teams of ATL Marathon—a nationwide contest where students identify community challenges and create grassroots innovations and solutions within their ATLs—got a chance to transform their innovative prototypes into fully functioning products, which are now available in the market.

Insta Links:

Prelims Link:

  1. Who can setup ATLs?
  2. What is the financial support given for setting up of ATLs?
  3. Aim and objectives of Tinker from Home campaign?
  4. Who heads NITI Aayog?
  5. About Student Entrepreneurship Programme.

Mains Link:

Discuss the objectives and significance of Atal Tinkering Labs.

Sources: pib.

 

Topics Covered: Awareness in space.

What is SpaceX’s SN5 Starship prototype?


It is a prototype of SpaceX’s uncrewed “Mars ship”. It is a stainless steel test.

  • It is a part of the Starship spacecraft.

 Why in News?

The prototype recently completed its first test flight. It successfully flew to an altitude of over 500 feet for a little less than 60 seconds.

What is Starship?

Designed by SpaceX, Starship is a spacecraft and super-heavy booster rocket meant to act as a reusable transportation system for crew and cargo to the Earth’s orbit, Moon and Mars.

SpaceX has described Starship as “the world’s most powerful launch vehicle” with an ability to carry over 100 metric tonnes to the Earth’s orbit.

Potential:

  • Once functional, the Starship spacecraft will enter Mars’ atmosphere at a speed of 7.5 km per second and will be designed to withstand multiple entries.
  • Starship can deliver satellites further and at lower marginal costs than SpaceX’s Falcon vehicles and it can ferry both cargo and crew to the International Space Station (ISS).
  • Once developed, Starship is also expected to help carry large amounts of cargo to the Moon, for human spaceflight development and research.
  • Beyond the Moon, the spacecraft is being designed for carrying crew and cargo for interplanetary missions as well.

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. NASA’s Commercial crew program- participants.
  2. Space shuttle program.
  3. Space stations so far.
  4. About Starship project.
  5. About SN5 Starship prototype.

Sources: Indian Express.

 


Facts for Prelims


Sputnik V:


  • It is a new coronavirus vaccine launched by Russia.
  • It is touted as the world’s first such vaccine, too.
  • Currently, WHO and Russian health authoritiesare discussing the process for possible WHO prequalification for its newly approved COVID-19 vaccine.
  • The vaccine is named Sputnik V, a reference to the first orbital satellite, which was launched by the Soviet Union in 1957 and set off the global space race.

sputnik_v

 

Articles to be covered tomorrow:

  1. ‘Krishi Megh’

 


Articles covered previously


(Note: This section helps you have a brief overview of articles which are frequently in news and are repeated with no significant developments. This will also help you reduce unnecessary burden.)

 Delhi High Court notice to Centre:


Context:

The Delhi High Court has issued notice to the Centre on a plea seeking contempt proceedings against the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change for failing to publish the translated versions of the draft Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) notification in all 22 languages of the Eighth Schedule.

What’s the issue?

The petitioner accused the Ministry of “wilful disobedience and deliberate defiance” of the order of the High Court passed on June 30 to publish the draft EIA in the vernacular languages to enable the general public to give their comments, objections or recommendations.

Note:

Details of the draft EIA have been covered multiple times. What you can study from the above mentioned topic?

  1. All about the 8th schedule of the Indian Constitution.
  2. Contempt of Court- meaning, applicability and outcomes.

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