Print Friendly, PDF & Email

INSIGHTS DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS + PIB SUMMARY- 25 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. Cultural heritage of Hyderabad.

 

GS Paper 2:

1. Lokayukta.

2. No Confidence motion.

3. Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB).

4. Electricity Amendment Bill 2020.

5. DNA Bill can be misused for caste-based profiling, says panel draft report.

6. Glanders.

 

GS Paper 3:

1. Google Pay violation: HC seeks reply from govt., RBI.

 

Facts for Prelims:

1. Dedicated Freight Corridor Corporation of India Limited.

2. Guwahati gets India’s longest river ropeway.

3. People in News- Bondas.

 


GS Paper  : 1


 

Topics Covered: Indian culture will cover the salient aspects of Art Forms, Literature and Architecture from ancient to modern times.

Cultural heritage of Hyderabad:


Context:

Ministry of Tourism recently organised the 50th webinar titled “Cultural heritage of Hyderabad”under DekhoApnaDesh  series.

What is DekhoApnaDesh series?

The Ministry of Tourism is organizing the DekhoApnaDesh webinars with an objective to create awareness about and promote various tourism destinations of India – including the lesser known destinations and lesser known facets of popular destinations.

  • It also promotes spirit of Ek Bharat Sreshtha Bharat.

Note: Some important facts were mentioned in this PIB article. The facts mentioned are important for your Prelims as well as Mains.

Key facts:

  • Hyderabad is popularly known as the “City of Pearls” and the “City of Nizams”, and has been the centre of a vibrant historical legacy, ever since its inception by the QutubShahi dynasty.
  • Muhammad QuliQutb Shahestablished Hyderabad in 1591 to extend the capital beyond the fortified Golconda.
  • In 1687, the city was annexedby the Mughals. In 1724, Mughal governor NizamAsaf Jah I declared his sovereignty and founded the AsafJahi dynasty, also known as the Nizams.
  • Hyderabad served as the imperial capital of the AsafJahis from 1769 to 1948.

Important cultural sites of Hyderabad highlighted in the session:

  1. Golconda Fort, Hyderabad: Built by the Kakatiya dynastyin the 13th century.
  2. Chowmahalla Palace: Once the seat of the AsafJahi Dynasty. It has bagged the UNESCO Asia-Pacific Heritage Merit Award for Culture Heritage Conservation.
  3. Charminar: The monument was erected when QuliQutab Shah shifted his capital from Golcondo to Hyderabad.
  4. Mecca Masjid: Completed by Aurangazeb in 1693.The bricks used here are believed to be from Mecca, and hence the name.
  5. Warangal Fort: This fort appears to have existed since at least the 12th century when it was the capital of the Kakatiya dynasty.

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. DekhoApnaDesh series is organised by?
  2. About Ek Bharat Sreshtha Bharat scheme.
  3. Which city is popularly known as the “City of Pearls”.
  4. Who founded the city of Hyderabad?
  5. All dynasties who ruled Hyderabad.
  6. Who built Chowmahalla Palace?
  7. Who built Charminar?
  8. About the Kakatiya dynasty.

Sources: pib.

 


GS Paper  : 2


 

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

Lokayukta:


Context:

The Supreme Court has issued notice on a plea filed by the State of Nagaland for a direction to its Lokayukta to cease exercising his powers and functions and transfer all his work to the Upa-Lokayukta.

What’s the issue?

The petition by the State asked the court to use its extraordinary powers under Article 142 of the Constitution to preserve the institutional integrity of the Lokayukta and ensure that a “fit, proper and competent person” occupies the office of the Lokayukta.

What is Lokayukta?

Lokayukta is an anti-corruption authority or ombudsman – an official appointed by the government to represent the interests of the public.

  • Most importantly, it investigates allegations of corruption and mal-administration against public servants and is tasked with speedy redressal of public grievances.

Genesis:

The Administrative Reforms Commission headed by Late Morarji Desai in 1966 recommended the setting up of the institution of Lokayukta.

The Lokpal and Lokayukta Act, 2013, commonly known The Lokpal Act was passed by the Parliament of India in December 2013.

  • It provides for the appointment of a Lokayukta “to investigate and report on allegations or grievances relating to the conduct of public servants.”
  • It also called for establishment of Lokpal at the Centre.

Who is appointed as the Lokayukta?

The Lokayukta is usually a former High Court Chief Justice or former Supreme Court judge and has a fixed tenure.

Selection of Lokayukta:

  • The Chief Minister selects a person as the Lokayukta after consultation with the High Court Chief Justice, the Speaker of the Legislative Assembly, the Chairman of the Legislative Council, Leader of Opposition in the Legislative Assembly and the Leader of Opposition in the Legislative Council. The appointment is then made by the Governor.
  • Once appointed, Lokayukta cannot be dismissed nor transferred by the government, and can only be removed by passing an impeachment motion by the state assembly.

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. Which states have not appointed Lokayukta?
  2. Which was the first state in India to have the office of Lokayukta?
  3. Who appoints Lokayukta?
  4. Powers and functions.
  5. Eligibility 
  6. Overview of the Lokpal and Lokayukta Act, 2013.

Sources: the Hindu.

 

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

No Confidence motion:


Why in News?

The no-confidence motion against the Pinarayi Vijayan government was defeated 87-40 in the Kerala Assembly on Monday. The Assembly has been adjourned sine-die.

What is a no-confidence motion?

A no-confidence motion is a parliamentary motion which is moved in the Lok Sabha against the entire council of ministers, stating that they are no longer deemed fit to hold positions of responsibility due to their inadequacy in some respect or their failure to carry out their obligations. No prior reason needs to be stated for its adoption in the Lok Sabha.

Procedure to move a “No Confidence Motion”:

A motion of “No Confidence Motion” against the Government can be introduced only in the Lok Sabha under rule 198.

The Constitution of India does not mention about either a Confidence or a No Confidence Motion. Although, Article 75 does specify that the Council of Ministers shall be collectively responsible to the Lok Sabha.

  • A motion of No Confidence can be admitted when a minimum of 50 members, support the motion in the house.
  • The Speaker then, once satisfied that the motion is in order, will ask the House if the motion can be adopted.
  • If the motion is passed in the house, the Government is bound to vacate the office.

A no-confidence motion needs a majority vote to pass the House.

  • If individuals or parties abstain from voting, those numbers will be removed from the overall strength of the House and then the majority will be taken into account.

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. What is a no-confidence motion?
  2. Who can move it?
  3. Procedure to be followed?
  4. Can it be introduced in Rajya Sabha?
  5. Majority needed to pass the no-confidence motion.
  6. Article 75 is related to?

Mains Link:

Write a note on the no-confidence motion.

Sources: the Hindu.

 

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

Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB):


Context:

Government of India, the Government of Maharashtra, Mumbai Railway Vikas Corporation and the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) have signed a loan agreement for a $500 million Mumbai Urban Transport Project-III to improve the network capacity, service quality and safety of the suburban railway system in Mumbai.

What is AIIB?

Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) is a multilateral development bank with a mission to improve social and economic outcomes in Asia and beyond.

  • It is headquartered in Beijing.
  • It commenced operations in January 2016.
  • It is a development bank with a mission to improve the economic and social outcomes in Asia.

Is AIIB actively recruiting new members?

AIIB is an open and inclusive multilateral financial institution.

  • Membership in AIIB shall be open to members of the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development or the Asian Development Bank.

Unlike other MDBs (multilateral development bank), the AIIB allows for non-sovereign entities to apply for AIIB membership, assuming their home country is a member.

AIIB Project Preparation Special Fund:

  • Established in June 2016, the Project Preparation Special Fund (Special Fund) is a multidonor facility with the primary purpose of supporting eligible AIIB members—especially low-income members—prepare bankable infrastructure projects AIIB may finance.
  • The Special Fund provides technical assistance grants for preparing bankable infrastructure projects. Through these grants, clients can hire experts and consultants to carry out the required preparation work.

Various organs of AIIB:

Board of Governors: The Board of Governors consists of one Governor and one Alternate Governor appointed by each member country. Governors and Alternate Governors serve at the pleasure of the appointing member.

Board of Directors: Non-resident Board of Directors is responsible for the direction of the Bank’s general operations, exercising all powers delegated to it by the Board of Governors. This includes approving the Bank’s strategy, annual plan and budget; establishing policies; taking decisions concerning Bank operations; and supervising management and operation of the Bank and establishing an oversight mechanism.

International Advisory Panel: The Bank has established an International Advisory Panel (IAP) to support the President and Senior Management on the Bank’s strategies and policies as well as on general operational issues. The Panel meets in tandem with the Bank’s Annual Meeting, or as requested by the President. The President selects and appoints members of the IAP to two-year terms. Panelists receive a small honorarium and do not receive a salary. The Bank pays the costs associated with Panel meetings.

Significance of AIIB:

The United Nations has addressed the launch of AIIB as having potential for “scaling up financing for sustainable development” for the concern of global economic governance. The capital of the bank is $100 billion, equivalent to ​2⁄3 of the capital of the Asian Development Bank and about half that of the World Bank.

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. AIIB vs ADB vs WB.
  2. Members of AIIB.
  3. Top shareholders.
  4. Voting powers.
  5. AIIB supported projects in India.

Mains Link:

Write a note on the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB).

Sources: pib.

 

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

Electricity Amendment Bill 2020:


Context:

Aam Aadmi Party has sought permission from the Speaker to table a motion for repealing of the Centre’s three agriculture-related ordinances and Power Amendment Bill-2020.

It is because AAP argues that these laws are contrary to the federal structure of the country, besides impinging on the rights of the States.

Note:

We have already discussed about the three agriculture related ordinances. For details, please refer:

https://www.insightsonindia.com/2020/08/04/centre-should-repeal-ordinances-farmers/.

In this article, we will discuss about the Electricity Amendment Bill, 2020.

Contentious clauses in the Electricity Amendment Bill, 2020:

Firstly, few states have accused the Centre of failure to consult the States on the Bill since electricity is on the Concurrent List. Other issues are:

  1. The Bill seeks to end subsidies.All consumers, including farmers, will have to pay the tariff, and the subsidy will be sent to them through direct benefit transfer.

States are worried about this clause because:

  • This would mean people would have to pay a huge sum towards electricity charges, while receiving support through direct benefit transfer later.
  • This would result in defaults leading to penalties and disconnection.
  1. The Bill “divests” the States of their power to fix tariff and hands over the task to a Central government-appointed authority.

This is discriminatory, since the tariff can be tweaked according to the whims and fancies of the Central government.

  1. The Bill also makes it compulsory for the State power companies to buy a minimum percentage of renewable energy fixed by the Centre.

This would be detrimental to the cash- strapped power firms.

Other key provisions in the Bill:

Renewable Energy: It delegates the Central Government with the power to prepare and notify a National Renewable Energy Policy “for promotion of generation of electricity from renewable sources”, in consultation with State Governments.

Cross Border Trade: The Central Government has been delegated with the power to prescribe rules and guidelines to allow and facilitate cross border trade of electricity.

Creation of Electricity Contract Enforcement Authority: It has been proposed to be given sole jurisdiction to adjudicate upon matters on performance of obligations under a contract regarding sale, purchase and transmission of electricity, which exclusion of this specialized authority’s jurisdiction on determination of tariff or any other dispute regarding tariff.

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. What are APMCs? How they are regulated?
  2. Overview of Model Contract farming act.
  3. What is an ordinance?
  4. The price range fluctuation allowed in the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Ordinance, 2020.
  5. Stock limit regulation under the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Ordinance, 2020 will not be applicable for?
  6. Composition of the proposed Electricity Contract Enforcement Authority.
  7. How DISCOMS in the country function?
  8. What is the National Load Despatch Centre?

Mains Link:

Do you think the reforms proposed for agricultural sector under the realm of Aatmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyaan ensure better price realization for farmers? Elucidate.

Sources: the Hindu.

 

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

DNA Bill can be misused for caste-based profiling, says panel draft report:


Context:

The parliamentary standing committee on science and technology headed by Congress leader Jairam Ramesh has raised few concerns over the DNA Bill.

They are:

  • DNA data could be misused for caste or community-based profiling.
  • The Bill refers to consent in several provisions, but in each of those, a magistrate can easily override consent, thereby in effect, making consent perfunctory (Meaning of perfunctory: performed merely as a routine duty; hasty and superficial).
  • There is also no guidance in the Bill on the grounds and reasons of when the magistrate can override consent, which could become a fatal flaw.
  • The Bill permits retention of DNA found at a crime scene in perpetuity, even if conviction of the offender has been overturned.
  • The Bill also provides that DNA profiles for civil matters will also be stored in the data banks, but without a clear and separate index.

Overview of the DNA Technology (Use And Application) Regulation Bill, 2019:

  1. It seeks to establish a national data bank and regional DNA data banks.
  2. It envisages that every databank will maintain indices like the crime scene index, suspects’ or undertrials’ index, offenders’ index, missing persons’ index and unknown deceased persons’ index.
  3. It also seeks to establish a DNA Regulatory Board. Every laboratory that analyses DNA samples to establish the identity of an individual, has to be accredited by the board.
  4. The bill also proposes a written consentby individuals be obtained before collection of their DNA samples. However, consent is not required for offences with punishment of more than seven years in jail or death.
  5. It also provides for the removal of DNA profiles of suspects on the filing of a police report or court order, and of undertrials on the basis of a court order. Profiles in the crime scene and missing persons’ index will be removed on a written request.

Sources: the Hindu.

 

Topics Covered: Issues related to health.

Glanders:


Why in News?

The Delhi High Court has asked municipal bodies to take steps to prevent spread of glanders disease in animals including horses and issued notice to the Delhi government and others on an application filed by the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), India.

What’s the issue?

In its application, the PETA has sought directions to implement the provisions of the Prevention and Control of Infectious and Contagious Disease in Animal Act, 2009 and National Action Plan for control and eradication of glanders in horses, mules, ponies, and donkeys in the national capital.

About Glanders:

It is an infectious disease that is caused by the bacterium Burkholderia mallei.

Who can get infected?

While people can get the disease, glanders is primarily a disease affecting horses. It also affects donkeys and mules and can be naturally contracted by other mammals such as goats, dogs, and cats.

Transmission:

  • Transmitted to humans through contact with tissues or body fluids of infected animals.
  • The bacteria enter the body through cuts or abrasions in the skin and through mucosal surfaces such as the eyes and nose.
  • It may also be inhaled via infected aerosols or dust contaminated by infected animals.

Symptoms of glanders commonly include:

  1. Fever with chills and sweating.
  2. Muscle aches.
  3. Chest pain.
  4. Muscle tightness.
  5. Headsche
  6. Nasal discharge.
  7. Light sensitivity (sometimes with excessive tearing of the eyes).

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. Glanders- causes, transmission, symptoms and treatments.
  2. Who can get infected?

Sources: the Hindu.

 


GS Paper  : 3


 

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

Google Pay violation: HC seeks reply from govt., RBI:


Context:

The Delhi High Court has sought response of the Centre and the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on a plea seeking action against ‘Google Pay’ for allegedly violating the central bank’s guidelines related to data localisation, storage and sharing norms.

What’s the issue?

A petition was filed in the court seeking to impose penalty on the company for alleged violations of laws.

The plea claimed that the company was storing personal sensitive data in contravention of UPI procedural guidelines of October 2019, which allows such data to be stored only by Payment Service Provider [PSP] bank systems and not by any third-party application.

A timeline of the RBI’s localisation mandate for payments data:

  1. April 2018: the localisation circular surfaces: The RBI told all payments system operators in India to ensure that payments-related data was stored within the country and gave the companies six months to comply. The RBI wanted data stored locally “to have unfettered access to all payment data for supervisory purposes”.
  2. July 2018, Finance ministry tries to step in: The Finance Ministry eased the RBI’s directive for foreign payment firms, saying that mirroring a copy of the data in India would be sufficient.
  3. In July, the Data Protection Bill mandated localisation:The long-awaited draft Data Protection Bill 2018 was submitted to the government, adding to the confusion. The bill overrode all sectoral regulators and therefore all their directives. It mandated that all data fiduciaries store a copy of users’ personal data in India. It also required mandatory storage of ‘critical personal data’ within India only. The bill, however, failed to explicitly define ‘critical data’.
  4. September 2018, RBI asks for updates on local storage: The RBI asked payment companies to send it fortnightly updates about their progress on local storage of payments data.
  5. October 2018, RBI circular comes into effect: The RBI’s circular on localisation of payments data came into effect.
  6. February 2019:The Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade released a Draft E-commerce Policy, which included strategies for regulating access to data, mandating data storage requirements, and controlling cross-border data flows. Data localisation may now be left out of the e-commerce policy, and left to the jurisdiction of the Data Protection Bill.

Why data localization is necessary for India?

  • For securingcitizen’s data, data privacy, data sovereignty, national security, and economic development of the country.
  • The extensive data collection by technology companies, has allowed them to process and monetize Indian users’ data outside the country. Therefore, to curtail the perils of unregulated and arbitrary use of personal data, data localization is necessary.
  • With the advent of cloud computing, Indian users’ data is outside the country’s boundaries, leading to a conflict of jurisdiction in case of any dispute.

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. What is data localisation?
  2. What is Unified Payments Interface?
  3. Overview of the Personal Data Protection Bill, 2019.
  4. National Payments Corporation of India- Key Functions.

Sources: the Hindu.

 


Facts for Prelims


Dedicated Freight Corridor Corporation of India Limited:

DFCCIL under the Ministry of Railways is a special purpose vehicle tasked with planning and completion of 3, Dedicated Freight Corridors (DFCs).

It has been registered as a company under the Companies Act 1956 on 30 October 2006.

  • In the first phase the organisation is constructing the Western DFC (1504 Route km) and Eastern DFC (1856 route km) spanning a total length of 3360 route km.

ludhiana

Guwahati gets India’s longest river ropeway:

It will be the country’s longest river ropeway that will connect two banks of the Brahmaputra.

  • The ropeway will cover a distance of 1.8 km, and bring down the travelling time between north Guwahati and the central part of the city to eight minutes.

People in News- Bondas:

  • Bondas is a tribal community residing in the hill ranges of Malkangiri district in Odisha.
  • They are a particularly vulnerable tribal group (PVTG).
  • Their population is around 7,000.
  • Bonda people are often led to bonded labour through marriage, also known as diosing.
  • A form of dowry (known as Gining) is paid for brides.

Why in News?

Four members of the community have tested positive for COVID-19.


  • Join our Official Telegram Channel HERE for Motivation and Fast Updates
  • Subscribe to our YouTube Channel HERE to watch Motivational and New analysis videos