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INSIGHTS DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS + PIB SUMMARY- 9 October 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 2:

1. New Development Bank.

 

GS Paper 3:

1. Gyan Circle Ventures.

2. Stockholm Convention on POPs.

3. What is Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP)?

4. Who is a declared foreigner?

5. What is TRP, why was it manipulated?

 

Facts for Prelims:

1. World Cotton Day.

2. Rapid Action Force (RAF).

3. What is the International Barcode of Life (iBOL)?

4. Nobel Literature Prize.

5. Andolan for COVID-19 appropriate behaviour.

6. Air Force Day, October 8.

 


GS Paper  : 2


 

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

New Development Bank:


Context:

New Development Bank has approved infrastructure projects worth 741 million dollars in India.

About the New Development Bank:

It is a multilateral development bank operated by the BRICS states (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa).

  • It was agreed to by BRICS leaders at the 5th BRICS summit held in Durban, South Africa in 2013.
  • It was established in 2014, at the 6th BRICS Summit at Fortaleza, Brazil.
  • The bank is set up to foster greater financial and development cooperation among the five emerging markets.
  • Headquartered in Shanghai, China.

In 2018, the NDB received observer status in the United Nations General Assembly, establishing a firm basis for active and fruitful cooperation with the UN.

Voting:

Unlike the World Bank, which assigns votes based on capital share, in the New Development Bank each participant country will be assigned one vote, and none of the countries will have veto power.

Roles and functions:

The Bank will mobilise resources for infrastructure and sustainable development projects in BRICS and other emerging economies and developing countries, to supplement existing efforts of multilateral and regional financial institutions for global growth and development.

BRICS

Insta Links:

Prelims Link:

  1. NDB- members and voting powers.
  2. Where it can invest?
  3. Which are the NDB funded projects in India?
  4. Fortaleza declaration is related to?
  5. When was NDB established?
  6. NDB vs World Bank vs AIIB.

Mains Link:

Discuss the objectives and significance of NDB.

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.

Gyan Circle Ventures:


Context:

Union Education Minister virtually inaugurates Gyan Circle Ventures.

What are Gyan Circle Ventures?

They are Technology Business Incubators (TBI).

Funded by the Ministry of Information Technology (MeitY).

  • Led by the Indian Institute of Information Technology, Sri City (Chittoor), Andhra Pradesh.

Key features:

  • Gyan Circle Ventures would function as a Technology Incubation and Development of Entrepreneurs (TIDE 2.0) incubation center.
  • They will serve as a hub for innovation and startups by providing support, in various phases, via investments, infrastructure and mentoring.

InstaLinks:

Prelims and Mains Links:

Establishment, objectives and significance of these ventures.

Sources: PIB.

 

Topics Covered: Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment.

Stockholm Convention on POPs:


Context:

Union Cabinet has approved the Ratification of seven chemicals listed under the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs).

  • The Cabinet has also delegated its powers to ratify chemicals under the Stockholm Convention to the Union Ministers of External Affairs (MEA) and Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC) in respect of POPs already regulated under the domestic regulations.

These are:

  1. Chlordecone.
  2. Hexabromobiphenyl.
  3. Hexabromodiphenyl ether and Heptabromodiphenylether.
  4. Tetrabromodiphenyl ether and Pentabromodiphenyl ether.
  5. Pentachlorobenzene.
  6. Hexabromocyclododecane.
  7. Hexachlorobutadiene.

Benefits for India:

The ratification process would enable India to access Global Environment Facility (GEF) financial resources in updating the National Implementation Plan (NIP).

About Stockholm Convention on POPs:

Signed in 2001 and effective from May 2004 (Ninety days after the ratification by at least 50 signatory states).

Aims to eliminate or restrict the production and use of persistent organic pollutants (POPs).

 What are POPs?

In 1995, the Governing Council of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) called for global action to be taken on POPs, which it defined as “chemical substances that persist in the environment, bio-accumulate through the food web, and pose a risk of causing adverse effects to human health and the environment”.

 Uniqueness of POPs:

  • POPs are lipophilic, which means that they accumulate in the fatty tissue of living animals and human beings.
  • In fatty tissue, the concentrations can become magnified by up to 70 000 times higher than the background levels.
  • As you move up the food chain, concentrations of POPs tend to increase so that animals at the top of the food chain such as fish, predatory birds, mammals, and humans tend to have the greatest concentrations of these chemicals.

The 12 initial POPs under the Stockholm Convention:

Initially, twelve POPs have been recognized as causing adverse effects on humans and the ecosystem and these can be placed in 3 categories:

  1. Pesticides: aldrin, chlordane, DDT, dieldrin, endrin, heptachlor, hexachlorobenzene, mirex, toxaphene;
  2. Industrial chemicals: hexachlorobenzene, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs); and
  3. By-products: hexachlorobenzene; polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins and polychlorinated dibenzofurans (PCDD/PCDF), and PCBs.

Since then, additional substances such as carcinogenic polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and certain brominated flame-retardents, as well as organometallic compounds such as tributyltin (TBT) have been added to the list of Persistent Organic Pollutants.

Sources of POPs:

  • Improper use and/or disposal of agrochemicals and industrial chemicals.
  • Elevated temperatures and combustion processes.
  • Unwanted by-products of industrial processes or combustion.

Is it legally binding?

Yes. Article 16 of the Convention requires that effectiveness of the measures adopted by the Convention is evaluated in regular intervals.

Other Conventions dealing with POPs:

Convention on Long-Range Transboundary Air Pollutants (LRTAP), Protocol on Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs).

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. What are POPs?
  2. Stockholm Convention is related to?
  3. Objectives of the Convention? Does it seek to eliminate or restrict POPs?
  4. What are dirty dozens?
  5. Is it legally binding?
  6. POPs covered.
  7. What is the Global Environmental Facility?

Mains Link:

Discuss the significance of the Stockholm Convention on POPs.

Sources: PIB.

 

Topics Covered: Conservation related issues.

What is Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP)?


Context:

The Environment Pollution (Prevention & Control) Authority has directed Delhi, Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan to implement air pollution control measures under “very poor” and “severe” category air quality of the Graded Response Action Plan from October 15.

What is GRAP?

Approved by the Supreme Court in 2016.

The plan was prepared by EPCA.

It works only as an emergency measure.

  • As such, the plan does not include action by various state governments to be taken throughout the year to tackle industrial, vehicular and combustion emissions.
  • When the air quality shifts from poor to very poor, the measures listed have to be followed since the plan is incremental in nature.

Overview of the plan:

  • The plan requires action and coordination among 13 different agencies in Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana and Rajasthan (NCR areas).
  • At the head of the table is the EPCA, mandated by the Supreme Court.
  • Before the imposition of any measures, EPCA holds a meeting with representatives from all NCR states, and a call is taken on which actions has to be made applicable in which town.

pollution_watch

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. Is EPCA a statutory body?
  2. When and why was it established?
  3. Powers and functions.
  4. Composition.
  5. What is Graded Response Action Plan?

Sources: the Hindu.

 

Topics Covered: Internal Security related issues.

Who is a declared foreigner?


Context:

The Gauhati High Court has said that people declared as foreigners cannot be kept in jails that serve as detention centres, depriving them of basic human rights and human dignity.

  • The court has also issued a notice to the Assam government to submit a report on the steps taken to set up detention centres outside jail premises and “hire any private premises” if “suitable government accommodations are not available for the purpose”.

Who is a declared foreigner?

A declared foreigner, or DF, is a person marked by Foreigners’ Tribunal (FT) for allegedly failing to prove their citizenship after the State police’s Border wing marks him or her as an illegal immigrant.

What is a Foreigners tribunal?

In 1964, the govt brought in the Foreigners (Tribunals) Order.

Composition: Advocates not below the age of 35 years of age with at least 7 years of practice (or) Retired Judicial Officers from the Assam Judicial Service (or) Retired IAS of ACS Officers (not below the rank of Secretary/Addl. Secretary) having experience in quasi-judicial works.

Who can setup these tribunals?

The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has amended the Foreigners (Tribunals) Order, 1964, and has empowered district magistrates in all States and Union Territories to set up tribunals (quasi-judicial bodies) to decide whether a person staying illegally in India is a foreigner or not.

  • Earlier, the powers to constitute tribunals were vested only with the Centre.

Who can approach?

The amended order (Foreigners (Tribunal) Order, 2019) also empowers individuals to approach the Tribunals.

  • Earlier, only the State administration could move the Tribunal against a suspect.

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. Illegal Migrants (Determination by Tribunal) (IMDT) Act vs Foreigners Tribunal (Order) 1964.
  2. Burden of proof under this order.
  3. Powers to approach the tribunal and kind of cases to be decided by the tribunal.
  4. Composition of the tribunal.
  5. Tribunals vs Courts.
  6. Geographical location of Assam and other NE states.
  7. Refugee vs illegal Migrants.
  8. Fundamental Rights available for Foreigners and other constitutional provisions wrt to Foreigners.
  9. Human Rights vs Fundamental Rights.

Mains Link:

Discuss briefly the laws that are in place to tackle illegal non-citizens in the country. Why was the Foreigners (Tribunals) Order, 1964 amended? Explain.

Sources: the Hindu.

 

Topics Covered: Challenges to internal security through communication networks, role of media and social networking sites in internal security challenges, basics of cyber security; money-laundering and its prevention.

What is TRP, why was it manipulated?


Why in News?

Mumbai police have alleged that three television channels are involved in manipulating TRPs.

What is Target Rating Point (TRP)?

Sometimes it is also known as the Television Rating Points.

It is the metric used by the marketing and advertising agencies to evaluate viewership.

  • TRPs represent how many people, from which socio-economic categories, watched which channels for how much time during a particular period.

How is it recorded?

  • In India, the TRP is recorded by the Broadcast Audience Research Council using Bar-O-Meters that are installed on televisions in selected households.

As on date, the BARC has installed these meters in 44,000 households across the country.

Besides, Audio watermarks are embedded in video content prior to broadcast.

  • These watermarks are not audible to the human ear, but can easily be detected and decoded using dedicated hardware and software. As viewing details are recorded by the Bar-O-Meters, so are the watermarks.

Why these ratings are important?

  • On the basis of audience measurement data, ratings are assigned to various programmes on television.
  • Television ratings in turn influence programmes produced for the viewers.
  • Better ratings would promote a programme while poor ratings will discourage a programme.
  • Incorrect ratings will lead to production of programmes which may not be really popular while good programmes may be left out.
  • Besides, TRPs are the main currency for advertisers to decide which channel to advertise on by calculating the cost-per-rating-point (CPRP).

How can TRP data be rigged?

If broadcasters can find the households where devices are installed, they can either bribe them to watch their channels, or ask cable operators or multi-system operators to ensure their channel is available as the “landing page” when the TV is switched on.

What is BARC?

It is an industry body jointly owned by advertisers, ad agencies, and broadcasting companies, represented by The Indian Society of Advertisers, the Indian Broadcasting Foundation and the Advertising Agencies Association of India.

Created in 2010.

  • I&B Ministry notified the Policy Guidelines for Television Rating Agencies in India on January 10, 2014 and registered BARC in July 2015 under these guidelines, to carry out television ratings in India.

Sources: the Hindu.

 


Facts for Prelims


World Cotton Day:

Second World Cotton Day was observed on 7th October 2020.

The event is organised in collaboration with the Secretariats of the :

  1. United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)
  2. The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD)
  3. The International Trade Centre (ITC) and the
  4. International Cotton Advisory Committee (ICAC).

Genesis: This event stems from the Cotton-4’s official application for the recognition of a World Cotton Day by the United Nations General Assembly.

  • Cotton- 4 Countries: Benin, Burkina Faso, Chad and Mali.

Key points:

  • On the occasion, the Union Textiles Minister launched the first-ever brand and logo for Indian cotton.
  • Now India’s premium cotton would be known as ‘Kasturi Cotton’ in the world cotton trade.
  • The Kasturi Cotton brand will represent Whiteness, Brightness, Softness, Purity, Lustre, Uniqueness and Indianness.
  • India is the 2nd largest cotton producer and the largest consumer of cotton in the world.
  • India produces about 6 million tons of cotton every year which is about 23% of the world cotton.
  • India accounts for about 51% of the total organic cotton production of the world, which demonstrates India’s effort towards sustainability.

cotton

Rapid Action Force (RAF):

  • It is a specialised wing of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF).
  • It was raised in October 1992.
  • Role: To deal with riots, riot like situations, crowd control, rescue and relief operations, and related unrest.
  • Its motto is “Serving Humanity with Sensitive Policing”.

Why in News?

28th anniversary of the RAF.

What is the International Barcode of Life (iBOL)?

The mission of the International Barcode of Life (iBOL) is to unite DNA barcoding research as a global science.

  • Through a research alliance spanning 26 nations with varying levels of investment and responsibilities, iBOL is successfully extending the geographic and taxonomic coverage of the Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLD).
  • In 2010, iBOL has met its key target for Phase I: records for 500K species were added to BOLD through this international collaboration.
  • The overall task of iBOL researchers is to collect and curate specimens, and organize their DNA sequences into a reference library used for global species identification.

dna_barcoding

Nobel Literature Prize:

American poet Louise Gluck has won the 2020 Nobel Literature Prize.

  • Previously, Ms. Gluck has won the Pulitzer Prize in 1993 and the National Book Award in 2014.
  • She is the fourth woman to win the Nobel Literature Prize in the past decade

Key points- Nobel Prize in Literature:

  • Awarded for Outstanding contributions in literature.
  • Location- Stockholm, Sweden.
  • Presented by- Swedish Academy.

Andolan for COVID-19 appropriate behaviour:

Launched recently by PM Modi in view of the upcoming festivals and winter season as well as the opening up of the economy.

  • He appealed to people to unite to fight Corona. He urged the people to always remember to wear a mask, wash hands, follow social distancing by maintaining ‘Do Gaz Ki Doori.’
  • A Concerted Action Plan will also be implemented by Central Government Ministries and Departments and State Governments and Union Territories with Region-specific targeted communication in high case-load districts.

Air Force Day, October 8:

  • October 8 is celebrated as the Air Force Day because on this day, the Air Force in India was officially raised in 1932 as the supporting force of the Royal Air Force of the United Kingdom.
  • The first operational squadron came into being in April 1933. After participation in World War II, the Air Force in India came to be called the Royal Indian Air Force in the mid 1940s.
  • In 1950, after the republic came into being it became the Indian Air Force.

The Air Force now is the fourth largest in the world.

 

Articles to be covered tomorrow:

  1. Indo- Sri Lankan relations.

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