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INSIGHTS DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS + PIB SUMMARY- 9 September 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. DekhoApnaDesh Webinar series on “Punjab- A historic perspective”.

2. What is ODF+ and ODF++?

 

GS Paper 2:

1. Deputy Chairman of Rajya Sabha.

2. What is an “office of profit”?

3. ‘Health in India’ report.

 

GS Paper 3:

1. First World Solar Technology Summit.

2. Infrastructure Investment Trust (InvIT) model.

 

Facts for Prelims:

1. Patrika Gate in Jaipur.

2. International Literacy Day.

3. What is Real Mango, which was in news recently?

4. Narcotics Control Bureau.

5. Honorary Consul.

 


GS Paper  : 1


 

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

DekhoApnaDesh Webinar series on “Punjab- A historic perspective”:


What?

DekhoApnaDesh Webinar Series is an effort to showcase India’s rich diversity under Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat programme.

About Punjab:

Punjab is called as ‘the land of Five Waters’ referring to the rivers Jhelum, Chenab, Ravi, Sutlej, and Beas.

  • Much of the Frontier was occupied by Maharaja Ranjit Singh also known as Sher-e-Punjab in the early 19th century, and then taken over by the East India Company when it annexed the Punjab in 1849.

Important festivals of Punjab:

Teej, Lohri, Basant Panchami, Baisakhi and Hola Mahalla.

Golden Temple:

  • It is a major pilgrimage destination for devotees from around the world.
  • Construction of the AmritSarovar (pool of nectar) was initiated by Guru Amar Das, the third Guru, in 1570 and was completed by Guru Ram Das, the fourth Guru.
  • In step with Sikhism’s basic tenet of universal brotherhood and all-inclusive ethos, the Golden Temple can be accessed from all directions.

Prominent places mentioned:

City of Fatehgarh Sahib: The word “Fatehgarh”, means “Town of Victory”, and is so called because in 1710, Sikhs under the leadership of Baba Banda Singh Bahadur conquered the area and destroyed the mughal fort. Banda Singh Bahadur announced the establishment of Sikh rule in the city and an end to the tyranny of the Mughal rule which had spread terror and injustice.

Virasat-e- Khalsa Museum: It is an architectural marvel commemorating the 550-years of culture and tradition of Punjab and Sikhism and the Partition Museum-world’s first museum on the largest human migration.

rivers_punjab

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. Why is Punjab called ‘the Land of Five Waters’?
  2. Who is known as ‘Sher-e-Punjab’?
  3. When was Punjab annexed by the East India Company?
  4. Significance of Lohri.
  5. Who constructed Amritsarovar?
  6. Who was Mian Mir?
  7. Which city in India is popularly known as the “Town of Victory”?

Mains Link:

Discuss the cultural significance of Golden Temple.

Sources: PIB.

 

Topics Covered: Role of women and women’s organization, population and associated issues, poverty and developmental issues, urbanization, their problems and their remedies.

What is ODF+ and ODF++?


Why in News?

Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA) has stated that:

  • All the Urban Local Bodies (ULBs) in Haryana have been certified Open Defecation Free (ODF), 21 ULBs ODF+ and 13 ODF++.
  • All cities in Punjab have been certified ODF, 33 are ODF+ and 17 are ODF++. Chandigarh is certified ODF++ and 3 Star (GFC).

What is ODF tag?

The original ODF protocol, issued in March 2016, said, “A city/ward is notified as ODF city/ward if, at any point of the day, not a single person is found defecating in the open.”

What is ODF+, ODF++?

ODF+ and ODF++ were launched in August 2018 to further scale up and sustain the work undertaken by the cities after achieving the ODF status under Phase I of the Swachh Bharat Mission — Urban (SBM-Urban).

Eligibility: Cities that had been certified ODF at least once, on the basis of the ODF protocols, are eligible to declare themselves as SBM-ODF+ & SBM-ODF++.

What is ODF+?

A city, ward or work circle could be declared ODF+ if, “at any point of the day, not a single person is found defecating and/or urinating in the open, and all community and public toilets are functional and well-maintained.”

What is ODF++?

The ODF++ protocol adds the condition that “faecal sludge/septage and sewage is safely managed and treated, with no discharging and/or dumping of untreated faecal sludge/septage and sewage in drains, water bodies or open areas.”

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. ODF+ vs ODF++- criteria.
  2. Phase 1 vs Phase 2 of SBM.
  3. SBM Urban and Rural, implementing ministries.
  4. Nirmal Bharat Abhiyaan vs SBM.

Mains Link:

“Swachh Bharat Mission campaign has become the global benchmark for participatory and transformative development.” Elucidate.

Sources: pib.

 


GS Paper  : 2


 

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

Deputy Chairman of Rajya Sabha:


Why in News?

The Congress parliamentary strategy group has decided to work with the Opposition parties to field a joint candidate for the election of Rajya Sabha deputy chairman’s post.

  • The post had fallen vacant after Harivansh Narayan Singh’s term ended. He has since been re-elected to the Upper House as a member from Bihar.

About the Deputy Chairman of Rajya Sabha:

It is a constitutional position created under Article 89 of the Constitution, which specifies that Rajya Sabha shall choose one of its MPs to be the Deputy Chairman as often as the position becomes vacant.

Who can be a deputy chairman?

The Deputy Chairman is elected by the Rajya Sabha itself from amongst its members.

Whenever the office of the Deputy Chairman falls vacant, the Rajya Sabha elects another member to fill the vacancy.

The Deputy Chairman vacates his office in any of the following three cases:

  1. if he ceases to be a member of the Rajya Sabha;
  2. if he resigns by writing to the Chairman;
  3. if he is removed by a resolution passed by a majority of all the members of the Rajya Sabha. Such a resolution can be moved only after giving 14 days’ advance notice.

Functions:

  1. The Deputy Chairman performs the duties of the Chairman’s office when it is vacant or when the Vice-President acts as President or discharges the functions of the President.
  2. He also acts as the Chairman when the latter is absent from the sitting of the House. In both the cases, he has all the powers of the Chairman.
  3. The Deputy Chairman also plays a critical role in ensuring the smooth running of the House.

Powers:

  • The Deputy Chairman is not subordinate to the Chairman. He is directly responsible to the Rajya Sabha.
  • The Deputy Chairman is entitled to a regular salary and allowance which are fixed by Parliament and are charged on the Consolidated Fund of India.

Election Procedure:

  1. For electing the Deputy Chair any Rajya Sabha MP can submit a motion proposing the name of a colleague for this constitutional position. The motion has to be seconded by another MP.
  2. Additionally, the member moving the motion has to submit a declaration signed by the MP whose name s/he is proposing stating that the MP is willing to serve as the Deputy Chairperson if elected. Each MP is allowed to move or second only one motion.
  3. Then the majority of the House decides who gets elected as the Deputy Chairperson.
  4. However, if the political parties arrive at a consensus candidate, then that MP will be unanimously elected as the Deputy Chair.

Panel of Vice-Chairmen:

  • The Chairman shall, from time to time, nominate from amongst the members of the Council a panel of not more than six Vice-Chairmen, any one of whom may preside over the Council in the absence of the Chairman and the Deputy Chairman when so requested by the Chairman, or in his absence, by the Deputy Chairman.
  • A Vice-Chairman nominated under sub-rule (1) shall hold office until a new panel of Vice-Chairmen is nominated.

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. Eligibility for the post of deputy Chairman of Rajya Sabha.
  2. Article 89 of the Indian Constitution is related to?
  3. When the Deputy Chairman has to vacate his office?
  4. Powers and functions.
  5. About the Panel of Vice-Chairmen.

Mains Link:

Discuss how the Deputy Chairman of Rajya Sabha is elected.

Sources: the Hindu.

 

Topics Covered: Functions and responsibilities of the Union and the States, issues and challenges pertaining to the federal structure, devolution of powers and finances up to local levels and challenges therein.

What is an “office of profit”?


Why in News?

President Ram Nath Kovind has rejected a plea seeking disqualification of YSR Congress leader V Vijaisai Reddy as Rajya Sabha member on the grounds of holding ‘office of profit’ as special representative of the Andhra Pradesh government in the national capital.

  • The order of the president is based on the Election Commission’s unanimous opinion given in June.

What’s the issue?

A petition was filed seeking disqualification of Vijaysai Reddy as a member of the Upper House of Parliament alleging that the post of special representative of the Andhra Pradesh government at the Andhra Pradesh Bhawan being held by the YSR Congress Party MP  was an office of profit.

  • However, the EC had held that since no pecuniary gain was derived from the said office and Reddy was not entitled to any other perks or remuneration other than enjoying the status of a ‘state guest’ during his travels to Andhra Pradesh in connection with performance of his duties as special representative, he did not incur disqualification under Article 102(1) (a) of the Constitution of India”.

What are the basic criteria to disqualify an MP or MLA?

Basic disqualification criteria for an MP are laid down in Article 102 of the Constitution, and for an MLA in Article 191.

  • They can be disqualified for: a) Holding an office of profit under government of India or state government; b) Being of unsound mind; c) Being an undischarged insolvent; d) Not being an Indian citizen or for acquiring citizenship of another country.

What is an ‘office of profit’?

If an MLA or an MP holds a government office and receives benefits from it, then that office is termed as an “office of profit”.

  • A person will be disqualified if he holds an office of profit under the central or state government, other than an office declared not to disqualify its holder by a law passed by Parliament or state legislature.

What is the underlying principle for including ‘office of profit’ as criterion for disqualification?

  • Makers of the Constitution wanted that legislators should not feel obligated to the Executive in any way, which could influence them while discharging legislative functions.
  • In other words, an MP or MLA should be free to carry out her duties without any kind of governmental pressure. The intent is that there should be no conflict between the duties and interests of an elected member.
  • The office of profit law simply seeks to enforce a basic feature of the Constitution- the principle of separation of power between the legislature and the executive.

Reason for controversies:

  • The expression “office of profit” has not been defined in the Constitution or in the Representation of the People Act, 1951.
  • It is for the courts to explain the significance and meaning of this concept. Over the years, courts have decided this issue in the context of specific factual situations.
  • But, articles 102 (1) and 191(1) which give effect to the concept of office of profit prescribe restrictions at the central and state level on lawmakers accepting government positions.

Role of Judiciary in defining the ‘office of profit:

The Supreme Court in Pradyut Bordoloi vs Swapan Roy (2001) outlined the four broad principles for determining whether an office attracts the constitutional disqualification.

  1. First, whether the government exercises control over appointment, removal and performance of the functions of the office
  2. Second, whether the office has any remuneration attached to it
  3. Third, whether the body in which the office is held has government powers (releasing money, allotment of land, granting licenses etc.).
  4. Fourth, whether the office enables the holder to influence by way of patronage.

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. What is an office of profit? Is it defined in the constitution?
  2. What are the basic criteria to disqualify an MP or MLA?
  3. Articles 102 and 191 of the constitution are related to?
  4. Principles outlined by the Supreme Court for determining whether an office attracts the constitutional disqualification.

Mains Link:

Explain the concept of ‘office of profit’. Discuss the underlying principle for including ‘office of profit’ as criterion for disqualification.

law

Sources: the Hindu.

 

Topics Covered: Issues related to health.

‘Health in India’ report:


Published by?

National Statistical Organisation (NSO).

  • The report is based on the 75th round of the National Sample Survey (July 2017-June 2018) on household social consumption related to health.

Key findings in the latest report:

  1. Across the country, only 59.2% of children under five years are fully immunised.
  2. Roughly, two out of five children do not complete their immunisation programme.
  3. About 97% of children across the country received at least one vaccination — mostly BCG and/or the first dose of OPV at birth.
  4. However, only 67% of children are protected against measles.
  5. Only 58% got their polio booster dose, while 54% got their DPT booster dose.
  6. Among States, Manipur (75%), Andhra Pradesh (73.6%) and Mizoram (73.4%) recorded the highest rates of full immunisation.
  7. In Nagaland, only 12% of children received all vaccinations, followed by Puducherry (34%) and Tripura (39.6%).

What is immunisation?

Immunization is the process whereby a person is made immune or resistant to an infectious disease, typically by the administration of a vaccine. Vaccines stimulate the body’s own immune system to protect the person against subsequent infection or disease.

What is full immunisation?

Full immunisation means that a child receives a cocktail of eight vaccine doses in the first year of life.

Need for proposed immunisation:

  • Currently, India accounts for 5 lakh deaths due to vaccine-preventable diseases, which is more than half of the total estimated infants’ deaths annually.
  • In India, diseases such as measles-rubella, diarrhoea, pneumonia and the like cause most of the infant deaths every year.
  • Latest reports by the World Health Organization reveal that a total of 1.5 million deaths could be avoided globally if there is an improvement in the global vaccination coverage.

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. About NSSO.
  2. About CSO.
  3. What is full immunisation?
  4. Latest findings in ‘Health in India’ report.
  5. What is a vaccine? How it works?

Mains Link:

What is full immunisation? Discuss the findings of latest ‘Health in India’ report in this regard.

Sources: the Hindu.

 


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.

First World Solar Technology Summit:


What?

First World Solar Technology Summit (WSTS) was organized on 8th September, 2020.

By?

The Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI), as the convenor of ISA Global Leadership Task Force on Innovation, worked with the International Solar Alliance (ISA) in organizing the summit.

The conference saw ISA signing four agreements, signalling its intent to focus on key areas of the solar energy sector.

  1. A partnership agreement between the Union Ministry of Renewable Energy, the World Bank and ISA on One World, One Sun, One Grid.
  2. A partnership between the Global Green Growth Institute and ISA on the promotion of a million solar pumps.
  3. A Memorandum of Understanding with the International Institute for Refrigeration, Paris and ISA.
  4. Partnership agreements on the implementation of 47 projects between ISA and NTPC.

ISA also launched its technology journal, Solar Compass 360.

About the International Solar Alliance (ISA)

It is an Indian initiative, which was launched jointly by Prime Minister of India Mr. Narendra Modi and H.E. François Hollande, President of France on 30 November 2015 in Paris, France on the side-lines of the 21st Conference of Parties (CoP 21) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.

  • The ISA Assembly is the main decision-making body of the alliance and it decides on various administrative, financial and program-related issues.

What it does?

As an action-oriented organisation, the ISA brings together countries with rich solar potential to aggregate global demand, thereby reducing prices through bulk purchase, facilitating the deployment of existing solar technologies at scale, and promoting collaborative solar R&D and capacity building.

solar_alliance

When it entered into force?

When the ISA Framework Agreement entered into force on December 6th, 2017, ISA formally became a de-jure treaty based International Intergovernmental Organization, headquartered at Gurugram, India.

Membership:

  • All members of the United Nations can join the International Solar Alliance (ISA) under the recently amended ISA Framework Agreement.
  • As on 30 July 2020, 87 Countries have signed the Framework Agreement of the ISA and of these 67 have deposited their instruments of ratification.

Goal:

It has set a target of 1TW of solar energy by 2030.

InstaFact:

India has a target of installing 100 GW and 300 GW of solar by 2022 and 2030 respectively.

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. Outcomes First World Solar Technology Summit.
  2. When was ISA launched?
  3. What is Solar Compass 360, which was launched recently?
  4. Targets of ISA.
  5. Membership of ISA.
  6. India’s renewable energy targets.
  7. What is One World, One Sun, One Grid initiative?

Mains Link:

Write a note on One World, One Sun, One Grid initiative.

Sources: PIB.

 

Topics Covered: Investment models.

Infrastructure Investment Trust (InvIT) model:


Why in News?

Cabinet approves asset monetization of subsidiaries of Power Grid Corporation of India limited through infrastructure investment trust.

  • This is the first time any PSU in Power Sector will undertake asset recycling by monetising its assets through the InvIT model and using the proceeds to fund the new and under-construction capital projects.

What is InvIT model?

It is a Collective Investment Scheme similar to a mutual fund, which enables direct investment of money from individual and institutional investors in infrastructure projects to earn a small portion of the income as return.

  • The InvITs are regulated by the SEBI (Infrastructure Investment Trusts) Regulations, 2014.

About Powergrid:

  • It is a public limited company under the administrative control of the Ministry of Power, Government of India.
  • It started its commercial operation in the year 1992-93 and is today, a Maharatna company, engaged in the business of power transmission.

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. What is a Maharatna Company? What are the benefits available for such companies?
  2. Criteria for grant of Miniratna status and Navaratna Statuses?
  3. About Powergrid.
  4. What is InvIT model?

Mains Link:

Write a note on Infrastructure Investment Trusts (Inv-IT).

Sources: PIB.

 


Facts for Prelims


Patrika Gate in Jaipur:

  • The iconic gate has been built by the Patrika Group of Newspapers.
  • It is built as a monument under Mission Anupam of the Jaipur Development Authority at Jawaharlal Nehru Marg.
  • It depicts the cultural and artistic heritage of different regions of Rajasthan.

Patrika_Gate

International Literacy Day:

  • International Literacy Day (ILD) is celebrated on 8th September every year all over the world.
  • The celebration of ILD started following a recommendation of the World Conference of Ministers of Education on the Eradication of Illiteracy which met in Tehran in September 1965.
  • UNESCO in 14th Session of its General Conference held in Paris in November 1966, formally proclaimed 8th September as International Literacy Day.

Theme for 2020: “Literacy teaching and learning in the COVID-19 crisis and beyond.”

National Statistical Office (NSO) has released the data for 2017-18 on state-wise literacy rate in the country for all aged 7 or above.

As per NSO:

  1. India’s average literacy rate is 77.7%.
  2. Andhra Pradesh’s literacy rate of 66.4% is the worst among all states in India and significantly lower than Bihar’s 70.9%.
  3. Kerala has the best literacy rate with 96.2%. Delhi stood second with 88.7%.
  4. More impressively, the gap between male and female literacy is the smallest in Kerala at just 2.2 percentage points. This gap is 14.4 percentage points at all-India level with male literacy at 84.7% and female literacy at 70.3%.
  5. The gap between urban and rural literacy rates is of the same order of magnitude as that between males and females. Once again, Kerala has the lowest gap of 1.9 percentage points.

What is Real Mango, which was in news recently?

It is an illegal software used for cornering confirmed Railway reservation. This commonly banned software makes the complete process of Indian Rail ticket booking at a fly speed.

Why in News?

In a nation wide investigation, the Railway Protection Force has disrupted the operation of this illegal software.

Narcotics Control Bureau:

  • It was constituted by the Government of India in 1986 under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985.
  • It is the apex coordinating agency under the Ministry of Home Affairs.

The National Policy on Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances is based on Article 47 of the Indian Constitution which directs the State to endeavour to bring about prohibition of the consumption, except for medicinal purposes, of intoxicating drugs injurious to health.

Drug abuse control is the responsibility of the central government.

Honorary Consul:

  1. Mahalingam has been appointed Honorary Consul of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg in Chennai, with consular jurisdiction over Tamil Nadu and Kerala.

Who are Honorary Consuls?

  1. Honorary consuls are private individuals who take care of their tasks on a part-time basis without remuneration.
  2. Honorary consuls do not accept passport applications nor do they handle matters pertaining to visas or residence permits. Honorary consuls cannot serve as attorneys in judicial proceedings or as legal advisers.
  3. Together with diplomatic missions, an honorary consul promotes economic and cultural relations.

honorary


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