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INSIGHTS DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS + PIB SUMMARY- 15 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. 74th Independence Day.

 

GS Paper 2:

1. Ashok Gehlot-led govt wins trust vote in Rajasthan.

2. SC holds Prashant Bhushan guilty of Contempt.

3. Need to amend the Official Languages Act for good governance: CJI.

4. Israel- UAE agreement.

 

GS Paper 3:

1. Vikram Sarabhai.

 

Facts for Prelims:

1. SRIJAN

2. Swasthya portal.

3. National Health Authority.

 


GS Paper  : 1


 

Topics Covered: Post-independence consolidation and reorganization within the country.

74th Independence Day:


Why India celebrates Independence Day on 15 August?

Pre- Independence- the call for Poorna Swaraj:

In 1929, when Jawaharlal Nehru as Congress President gave the call for ‘Poorna Swaraj’ or total independence from British colonial ruleJanuary 26 was chosen as the Independence Day.

Congress party continued to celebrate it 1930 onwards, till India attained independence and January 26, 1950, was chosen as the Republic Day – the day India formally became a sovereign country and was no longer a British Dominion.

How did August 15 become India’s Independence Day?

Lord Mountbatten had been given a mandate by the British parliament to transfer the power by June 30, 1948. If he had waited till June 1948, in C Rajagopalachari’s memorable words, there would have been no power left to transfer.

Mountbatten thus advanced the date to August 1947. By advancing the date, he said he was ensuring that there will be no bloodshed or riot.

  • Based on Mountbatten’s inputs the Indian Independence Bill was introduced in the British House of Commons on July 4, 1947, and passed within a fortnight. It provided for the end of the British rule in India, on August 15, 1947, and the establishment of the Dominions of India and Pakistan, which were allowed to secede from the British Commonwealth.

Why Mountbatten chose August 15, 1947?

Because it was the second anniversary of Japan’s surrender.

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. What is Mountbatten Plan?
  2. Overview of the 1947 Indian Independence Act.
  3. Why was August 15 chosen for transfer of powers?
  4. When was the call for Poorna Swaraj given?
  5. Cabinet mission plan.

Mains Link:

Why was August 15 chosen as India’s Independence Day? Do you think January 26 should have been chosen to celebrate Independence Day? Comment.

Sources: pib.

 


GS Paper  : 2


 

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

Ashok Gehlot-led govt wins trust vote in Rajasthan:


Context:

The Congress government in Rajasthan led by chief minister Ashok Gehlot has ended the month-long uncertainty in the state by winning the trust vote in the assembly.

Implications:

The development brings an end to the rebellion by former deputy chief minister Sachin Pilot and 18 other MLAs that had threatened the survival of the state government.

 Trust vote:

A confidence motion, or a vote of confidence, or a trust vote, is sought by the government in power on the floor of the House.

  • It enables the elected representatives to determine if the Council of Ministers commanded the confidence of the House.

 Floor test:

Floor test is a term used for the test of the majority.

  • If there are doubts against the chief minister, the governor can ask him to prove his majority in the House.
  • In case of a coalition government, the chief minister may be asked to move a vote of confidence and win a majority.

What happens in the absence of majority?

In the absence of a clear majority, when there is more than one individual staking claim to form the government, the governor may call for a special session to see who has the majority to form the government.

Some legislators may be absent or choose not to vote. The numbers are then considered based only on those MLAs who were present to vote.

What is No- confidence motion?

A no-confidence motion, or vote of no-confidence, or a no-trust vote, can be sought by any House member to express that they no longer have confidence in the government.

Constitutional provisions:

According to Article 75 (3) and Article 164 of the Constitution, the Council of Ministers are collectively responsible to the House of the People.

Insta Links:

Prelims Link:

  1. Floor test vs Composite floor test.
  2. Majority required to form the govt.
  3. Voting during floor test.
  4. Appointment of Chief Minister when there is clear majority vs Hung assembly.
  5. Can speaker cast his vote?

Mains Link:

Ambiguity in the law on conducting floor tests often lead to abuses and misuses. Comment.

Sources: the Hindu.

 

Topics Covered: Structure, organization and functioning of the Executive and the Judiciary Ministries and Departments of the Government; pressure groups and formal/informal associations and their role in the Polity.

SC holds Prashant Bhushan guilty of Contempt:


Context:

The Supreme Court has found lawyer Prashant Bhushan guilty of contempt of court for two tweets which it said had shaken the “very foundation of constitutional democracy”.

  • The hearing on the quantum of punishment will be held ‪‪on 20 August.

What were the tweets about?

  1. Bhushan’s first tweet pertained to a picture of Chief Justice SA Bobde in which he is seen sitting on a high-end motorcycle.
  2. In the second tweet, Bhushan gave an opinion on the role of last four chief justices of India in the context of the state of affairs in the country.

What was the rationale behind Supreme Court’s verdict? What necessitated this?

The Court made the following observations:

  • It may be better in many cases for the judiciary to adopt a magnanimously charitable attitude even when utterly uncharitable and unfair criticism of its operations is made out of bona fide concern for improvement.
  • However, when there appears some scheme and design to bring about results which have the tendency of damaging the confidence in our judicial system and demoralize the Judges of the highest court by making malicious attacks, those interested in maintaining high standards of fearless, impartial and unbending justice will have to stand firmly.
  • If such an attack is not dealt with, with the requisite degree of firmness, it may affect the national honour and prestige in the comity of nations.

Why is the contempt law seen as problematic?

The judge himself acts as prosecutor and victim, and starts with the presumption of guilt rather than innocence.

Contempt proceedings or quasi-criminal and summary in nature.

How have other democracies dealt with the question of contempt?

  • British judges often take no notice of personal insults if uttered without malice.
  • US and Canada punish people for contempt only when there is imminent or clear danger to the administration of justice.

More details on the issues and about the Contempt of Court concept:

https://www.insightsonindia.com/2020/07/27/contempt-of-court-4/.

Insta Link:

Prelims Link:

  1. Powers of SC vs HCs wrt Contempt cases.
  2. Constitutional provisions in this regard.
  3. Changes brought about by Contempt of Courts (Amendment) Act, 2006.
  4. Civil vs Criminal contempt.
  5. Rights under Article 19.
  6. Section 10 of The Contempt of Courts Act of 1971 is related to?

Mains Link:

Discuss how contempt cases are handled by Supreme Court in India.

Sources: the Hindu and Indian express.

 

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

Need to amend the Official Languages Act for good governance: CJI:


Context:

Chief Justice of India Sharad A. Bobde has said that the government should consider amending the Official Languages Act of 1963 to include more vernacular languages in governance, and not just confine it to Hindi and English.

Background:

The court was hearing an appeal filed by the Union of India challenging the legality of a Delhi High Court judgment of June 30 to translate the draft Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) notification of 2020 into all 22 vernacular languages in the Eighth Schedule of the Constitution.

What the Constitution says?

  • Article 348 (1) of the Constitution of India provides that all proceedings in the Supreme Court and in every High court shall be in English Language until Parliament by law otherwise provides.
  • Under Article 348 (2), the Governor of the State may, with the previous consent of the President, authorize the use of the Hindi language or any other language used for any official purpose of the State, in the proceedings of the High Court having its principal seat in that State provided that decrees, judgments or orders passed by such High Courts shall be in English.

Other legal provisions:

Section 7 of the Official Languages Act, 1963, provides that the use of Hindi or official language of a State in addition to the English language may be authorized, with the consent of the President of India, by the Governor of the State for purpose of judgments etc. made by the High Court for that State.

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. Which states in India have the provision of optional use of Hindi in Court proceedings?
  2. What is Eighth schedule of the Indian Constitution.
  3. What is Article 348 related to?
  4. Governors’ powers to authorise the use of Hindu in High Court proceedings.
  5. Who can add or remove languages from 8thschedule?
  6. Overview of the Official Languages Act of 1963.

Mains Link:

Discuss why the government should consider amending the Official Languages Act of 1963 to include more vernacular languages in governance, and not just confine it to Hindi and English.

Sources: the Hindu.

 

Topics Covered: Effect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries on India’s interests, Indian diaspora.

Israel- UAE agreement:


Context:

Israel and the United Arab Emirates have announced an agreement that will lead to a full normalisation of diplomatic relations between the two states, a move that reshapes the order of West Asia politics from the Palestinian issue to Iran.

  • The agreement will be known as the Abraham Accords.

Overview of the agreement:

  • Trilateral agreement: The agreement was the product of lengthy discussions between Israel, the UAE and the US that accelerated recently.
  • Under the accord, Israel has agreed to suspend annexing areas of the occupied West Bank as it had been planning to do.
  • It also firms up opposition to regional power Iran, which the UAE, Israel and the US view as the main threat in the region.

Background:

Israel had signed peace agreements with Egypt in 1979 and Jordan in 1994. But the UAE, along with most other Arab nations, did not recognise Israel and had no formal diplomatic or economic relations with it until now.

Where is West Bank?

It is a landlocked territory near the Mediterranean coast of Western Asia, bordered by Jordan to the east and by the Green Line separating it and Israel on the south, west and north.

The West Bank also contains a significant section of the western Dead Sea shore.

 What is the dispute settlements here? Who lives there?

  1. The West Bank was captured by Jordan after the 1948 Arab-Israeli War.
  2. Israel snatched it back during the Six Day War of 1967, and has occupied it ever since. During this war, the country defeated the combined forces of Egypt, Syria, and Jordan.
  3. It has built some 130 formal settlements in the West Bank, and a similar number of smaller, informal settlements have mushroomed over the last 20-25 years.
  4. Over 4 lakh Israeli settlers — many of them religious Zionistswho claim a Biblical birthright over this land — now live here, along with some 26 lakh Palestinians.
  5. The territory is still a point of contention due to a large number of Palestinians who live there and hope to see the land become a part of their future state.
  6. When Israel took control of the land in 1967 it allowed Jewish people to move in, but Palestinians consider the West Bank illegally occupied Palestinian land.

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. Six- day war- countries involved, reasons and the outcome.
  2. Where is Gaza Strip?
  3. What’s there in the Middle East peace plan?
  4. Where is Jerusalem?
  5. Who are Palestinians and what are their demands?
  6. Countries surrounding Israel.

Mains Link:

Does India support the establishment of a sovereign independent state of Palestine? Discuss.

israel

Sources: the Hindu.

 


GS Paper  : 3


Vikram Sarabhai:


Context:

ISRO pays tribute to Dr Vikram Sarabhai by announcing that Chandrayaan 2 Orbiter has captured the Moon images of “Sarabhai” Crater.

About Vikram Sarabhai and his contributions:

Vikram Sarabhai was born on August 12, 1919.

Sarabhai was instrumental in forming India’s future in astronomy and setting up the country’s space research facilities.

Key contributions:

  1. Based on his persuasion, the Indian government agreed to set up the Indian National Committee for Space Research (INCOSPAR)in 1962. He was the first chairman of the committee.
  2. The INCOSPAR was restructured and renamed as Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) in 1969.
  3. Sarabhai founded the Physical Research Laboratory in Ahmedabad in the year 1947. The laboratory started its operation from RETREAT, Sarabhai’s residence in Ahmedabad. Its first topic of research was cosmic rays.
  4. He also set up India’s first rocket launch site in Thumba, a small village near the Thiruvananthapuram airport in Kerala.
  5. Vikram Sarabhai was also responsible for bringing cable television to India. His constant contact with NASA paved a way for the establishment of Satellite Instructional Television Experiment (SITE) in 1975.
  6. Sarabhai was the mastermind behind building India’s first satellite, Aryabhata.
  7. He was one of the founding members of the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad (IIMA).
  8. Vikram Sarabhai received the Padma Bhushan in 1966for his contribution to India’s progress. He was also awarded the Padma Vibhushan in 1972, posthumously.

Sources: pib.

 


Facts for Prelims


SRIJAN:

SRIJAN is the Ministry of Defence’s portal which acts as a one-stop-shop online portal that provides access to the vendors to take up items that can be taken up for indigenization.

Swasthya Portal:

Launched by Tribal Affairs Minister recently.

  • The online portal will act as a one-stop solution presenting all information pertaining to tribal health and nutrition-related to Scheduled Tribes.
  • The portal will be managed by the Ministry of Tribal Affairs’ Centre of Excellence (CoE) for Knowledge Management in Health and Nutrition.

National Health Authority:

It is the apex body responsible for implementing India’s flagship public health insurance/assurance scheme ‘Ayushman Bharat Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana’.

  • National Health Authority is the successor of National Health Agency, which was functioning as a registered society since 23rd May, 2018.
  • NHA is governed by a Governing Board chaired by the Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare. 

 

Articles to be covered tomorrow:

  1. RBI to transfer ₹57,128 crore surplus to Centre for FY20.
  2. Omega Centauri.

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