Print Friendly, PDF & Email

INSIGHTS DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS + PIB SUMMARY- 26 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. Warli Painting.

 

GS Paper 2:

1. BRICS innovation base.

 

GS Paper 3:

1. Sin goods and sin tax.

2. India’s AstroSat telescope discovers one of the earliest galaxies to have formed.

3. National Clean Air Programme (NCAP).

 

Facts for Prelims:

1. Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA).

2. Honey Mission.

3. ICICI to use satellites for farm credit.

4. INS Viraat.

 


GS Paper  : 1


 

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

Warli Painting:


Context:

With a view to promote Indian folk art, National Fertilizers Limited (NFL) a PSU under the Department of Fertilizers has displayed Maharashtra’s famous Warli painting on the outer walls of its Corporate Office in Noida.

Who are Warlis?

The Warlis or Varlis are an indigenous tribe or Adivasis, living in Mountainous as well as coastal areas of Maharashtra-Gujarat border and surrounding areas.

  • They speak an unwritten Varli language which belong to the southern zone of the Indo-Aryan languages.

Warli Paintings:

  • Maharashtra is known for its Warli folk paintings.
  • Its roots may be traced to as early as the 10th century A.D.
  • They bear a resemblance to those created in the Rock Shelters of Bhimbetka.
  • Scenes portraying hunting, fishing and farming, festivals and dances, trees and animals are used to surround the central theme of the painting.
  • Women are mainly engaged in the creation of these paintings.

Unique features:

A very basic graphic vocabulary like a circle, a triangle and a square are used in these rudimentary wall paintings which are monosyllabic in nature.

Warli_Painting

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. Themes of Warli Paintings.
  2. About Warli tribe.
  3. About Rock Shelters of Bhimbetka.
  4. About Pattachitra.
  5. Madhubani paintings- key features.

Sources: pib.

 


GS Paper  : 2


 

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

BRICS innovation base:


Context:

China is “actively considering the establishment of a BRICS innovation base in China, in order to strengthen practical cooperation with the BRICS”.

  • Aim: To take forward 5G and Artificial Intelligence (AI) cooperation among the five countries.

Rationale behind the proposal:

China’s interest in promoting 5G within the BRICS bloc could be part of its interest in pushing tech giant Huawei internationally – Huawei’s name has come up as a contender to build the network in Brazil and South Africa even as it is embroiled in controversies in other countries.

How BRICS countries have responded?

  • Russia said it would work with China on 5G.
  • In South Africa, Chinese telecommunications firm Huawei is providing services to three of its telecom operators in the roll-out of their 5G networks.
  • Brazil has allowed participation in trials but is yet to take a final call.

However, India is the only country in the grouping that is leaning towards excluding Chinese participation in the roll-out of its national 5G network.

Way ahead for India:

India is unlikely to allow Chinese participation in 5G, particularly in the wake of recent moves to tighten investment from China and to ban 59 Chinese apps, citing national security concerns.

  • The ban, which followed the June clash in Galwan Valley, cited a “threat to the sovereignty and integrity of India” posed by the apps.

Indian intelligence assessments have also expressed concerns on the possible direct or indirect links of several Chinese companies, including Huawei, with the Chinese military.

India has made clear a return to normalcy cannot be possible while tensions along the Line of Actual Control remain unresolved.

Similar efforts by UK- 5G club:

In May, British government approached the US with the prospect of creating a 5G club of 10 democracies.

  • It includes G7 countries –UK, US, Italy, Germany, France, Japan and Canada – plus Australia, South Korea and India.
  • It will aim to create alternative suppliers of 5G equipment and other technologies to avoid relying on China.

What underlying technologies make up 5G?

5G is based on OFDM (Orthogonal frequency-division multiplexing), a method of modulating a digital signal across several different channels to reduce interference.

  • 5G uses 5G NR air interface alongside OFDM principles.
  • 5G also uses wider bandwidth technologies such as sub-6 GHz and mmWave.

The previous generations of mobile networks are 1G, 2G, 3G, and 4G.

  1. First generation – 1G
    1980s: 1G delivered analog voice.
  2. Second generation – 2G
    Early 1990s: 2G introduced digital voice (e.g. CDMA- Code Division Multiple Access).
  3. Third generation – 3G
    Early 2000s: 3G brought mobile data (e.g. CDMA2000).
  4. Fourth generation – 4G LTE
    2010s: 4G LTE ushered in the era of mobile broadband.

1G, 2G, 3G, and 4G all led to 5G, which is designed to provide more connectivity than was ever available before.

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. Members of 5G club proposed by UK.
  2. About BRICS, when was it launched?
  3. BRICS innovation base was recently proposed by?
  4. When South Africa joined this grouping?
  5. About New Development Bank.

Mains Link:

Discuss the significance of the proposed BRICS innovation base.

Sources: the Hindu.

 


GS Paper  : 3


 

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

Sin goods and sin tax:


Context:

Finance Minister recently said that two-wheelers are neither a luxury nor sin goods and so, merit a GST rate revision.

  • Two-wheelers currently attract 28% GST.

Sin goods:

Sin goods are goods which consider harmful to society.

Example of sin goods: Alcohol and Tobacco, Candies, Drugs, Soft drinks, Fast foods, Coffee, Sugar, Gambling and Pornography.

What is sin tax?

It is placed on goods that adversely affect health, most notably tobacco and alcohol.

Three principal arguments are used to justify this type of taxation:

  1. It can reduce consumption through increased prices.
  2. Compensate society for things like increased health system costs.
  3. Increase resources for the health sector.

Regulation in India:

According to the current GST rate structure, some of the sin goods that attract a cess include cigarettes, pan masala and aerated drinks. Apart from sin goods, luxury products like cars also attract a cess.

Global examples:

Countries such as the UK, Sweden and Canada impose Sin Taxes on a series of products and services, from tobacco and alcohol to lotteries, gambling and fuel, which chip in with sizeable revenues.

Mexico imposed a Soda Tax in 2013.

Why is it important?

  • That excessive consumption of tobacco, alcohol or empty calories heightens health risks such as cancer, heart conditions and obesity, is quite well-documented by now.
  • Evidence from other countries that have imposed Sin Taxes shows the consumption of cigarettes and soft drinks has fallen significantly, after the new tax.
  • The huge revenues many State governments in India rake in from liquor sales (and taxes) show that Sin Taxes can mean a bonanza for the State.

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. What is sin tax?
  2. Which country imposes soda tax?
  3. What is Pigovian tax?
  4. What are merit goods?

Mains Link:

What is a sin tax? What are sin goods? Discuss.

Sources: the Hindu.

 

Topics Covered: Awareness in space.

India’s AstroSat telescope discovers one of the earliest galaxies to have formed:


Context:

India’s multi-wavelength orbiting telescope, AstroSat, has detected light from a galaxy, called AUDFs01, in the extreme-ultraviolet (UV) light.

  • The galaxy is 9.3 billion light years away from Earth.

 Key points:

  • The discovery was an international collaboration by astronomers from India, Switzerland, France, USA, Japan and the Netherlands.
  • This is the first time that star-forming galaxies have been observed in this extreme UV environment. 

Methodology used for this discovery:

The team observed the galaxy within the patch of sky called the Hubble eXtreme Deep field (XDF), which itself sits at the centre of the Hubble Ultra Deep Field (HUDF). 

  • The HUDF is a small area in the constellation of Fornax, created using Hubble Space Telescope data from 2003 and 2004. It contains thousands of galaxies, and became the deepest image of the universe ever taken at the time.

XDF contains about 5,500 galaxies.

  • AstroSat looked at a part of XDF for 28 hours in October of 2016, a feat only space telescopes could perform because the atmosphere absorbs ultraviolet radiation. 

About AstroSat:

It is India’s first multi-wavelength space telescope, which has five telescopes seeing through different wavelengths simultaneously — visible, near UV, far UV, soft X-ray and hard X-ray.

  • Onboard the AstroSat is a 38-cm wide UltraViolet Imaging Telescope (UVIT), which is capable of imaging in far and near-ultraviolet bands over a wide field of view.
  • AstroSat was launched on 28 September 2015 by ISRO into a near-Earth equatorial orbit.
  • It is a multi-institute collaborative project, involving IUCAA, ISRO, Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (Mumbai), Indian Institute of Astrophysics (Bengaluru), and Physical Research Laboratory (Ahmedabad), among others.

astrosat

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. Which all countries have launched space based telescopes?
  2. AstroSat was launched by?
  3. About UltraViolet Imaging Telescope (UVIT).
  4. About Hubble Ultra Deep Field (HUDF).
  5. About the Hubble eXtreme Deep field (XDF).
  6. About the constellation of Fornax.

Sources: Indian Express.

 

Topics Covered: Conservation related issues.

National Clean Air Programme (NCAP):


Context:

The National Green Tribunal has slammed the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) over its report on the National Clean Air Programme (NCAP) which proposes 20-30% reduction of air pollution by 2024.

What’s the issue?

MoEF had recently informed the NGT that a committee has concluded that 20-30% pollutant reduction under the NCAP seems realistic.

  • The Ministry had further said that pollution could not be controlled except to the extent of certain per cent.

However, the NGT has disapproved this submission saying that the MoEF’s view was against the constitutional mandate under Article 21 and also against statutory mandate.

Observations made by the NGT:

Right to Clean Air stood recognised as part of Right to Life and failure to address air pollution was denial of Right to Life.

The enforcement of ‘Sustainable Development’ principle and ‘Public Trust Doctrine’ required stern measures to be adopted to give effect to the mandate of international obligations for which the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986 and other laws had been enacted.

What does the NCAP say on this? What are the issues?

Under the NCAP, the target is to achieve norms in 10 years and reduce load to the extent of 35% in first three years with further reduction of pollution later.

  • This meant for 10 years pollution would remain unaddressed which is too long period of tolerating violations when clean air was Right to Life.
  • Further, it is also not clear what type of pollutants or all pollutants would be reduced.
  • Besides, in 2019, the number of Non-Attainment Cities (NACs) has gone up from 102 to 122.

Need of the hour:

  1. Violation of laid down air pollution levels resulting in large number of deaths and diseases needed to be addressed expeditiously.
  2. Targeted time of reduction of pollution loads needed to be reduced and planned steps needed to be sternly implemented on the ground.

About the National Clean Air Programme:

Launched by the Union Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change in 2019.

It was not notified under the Environment Protection Act or any other Act.

It is envisaged as a scheme to provide the States and the Centre with a framework to combat air pollution.

  • It has a major goal of reducing the concentration of coarse (particulate matter of diameter 10 micrometer or less, or PM10) and fine particles (particulate matter of diameter 2.5 micrometer or less, or PM2.5) in the atmosphere by at least 20% by the year 2024, with 2017 as the base year for comparison.

Who all will participate?

Apart from experts from the industry and academia, the programme will be a collaboration between the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways, Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas, Ministry of New and Renewable Energy, Ministry of Heavy Industry, Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs, Ministry of Agriculture, Ministry of Health, NITI Aayog, and Central Pollution Control Board.

Which cities will fall under this?

Initially, 102 cities from 23 States and UTs were chosen as non-attainment cities. With the exception of Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and Bengaluru, most of those chosen are tier two cities.

  • The cities were selected on the basis of the ambient air quality data from the National Air Quality Monitoring Programme (NAMP) of 2011 – 2015.
  • Maharashtra had the maximum number of cities chosen for the programme.

2024

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. When was NCAP launched?
  2. Participants in NCAP.
  3. What are non- attainment cities?
  4. Goals set under NCAP.
  5. What is public trust doctrine?

Mains Link:

Discuss the significance of NCAP.

Sources: the Hindu.

 


Facts for Prelims


Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA):

  • Established under the Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority Act 1985.
  • The Authority replaced the Processed Food Export Promotion Council (PFEPC).
  • APEDA, under the Ministry of Commerce and Industries,promotes export of agricultural and processed food products from India.
  • It has been mandated with the responsibility of export promotion and development of the scheduled products Fruits, Vegetables and their Products, Meat and Meat Products etc.
  • In addition to this, APEDA has been entrusted with the responsibility to monitor import of sugar.

Honey Mission:

Launched by Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC) in 2017.

  • It is aimed at creating employment for the Adivasis, farmers, unemployed youth, and women by roping them in beekeeping while also increasing India’s honey production.

ICICI to use satellites for farm credit:

ICICI Bank has announced the introduction of usage of satellite data-imagery from earth observation satellites—to assess credit worthiness of its customers belonging to the farm sector.

  • ICICI will be the first bank in India to do so.
  • It will use the data to measure an array of parameters related to the land, irrigation and crop patterns and in combination with demographic and financial parameters to make faster lending decisions for farmers

INS Viraat:

  • Originally commissioned by the British Navy as HMS Hermes on November 18, 1959, the aircraft carrier had taken part in the Falkland Islands war in 1982.
  • India bought the British carrier in 1986 and rechristened it as INS Viraat.
  • INS Viraat is the Guinness record holder for being the longest-serving warship of the world.

Why in News?

One of the biggest ship recyclers at Alang — Shree Ram Group — has purchased the aircraft carrier.

  • This is the second aircraft carrier to be broken in India in the past six years. In 2014, INS Vikrant, which played a role in the historic 1971 war with Pakistan was broken down in Mumbai.

 

Articles covered previously:

  1. Arunachal Pradesh to seek 6th Schedule status from Centre.
  2. Activists against raising age of marriage for women.

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