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INSIGHTS DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS + PIB SUMMARY- 2 November 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. Rashtriya Ekta Diwas.

2. Typhoon Goni.

 

GS Paper 2:

1. Minimum Requirements for Annual MBBS Admissions Regulations (2020).

2. Gilgit-Baltistan a part of India, says MEA.

 

GS Paper 3:

1. What is a bulk drug park, and why does Himachal Pradesh want one?

2. File FIRs for cybercrime, States told.

3. What is Army Aviation Corps?

 

Facts for Prelims:

1. Ezhuthachan Puraskaram.

2. Places in News- Kaziranga National Park and Tiger Reserve (KNPTR).

3. What is 16 Psyche?

4. Kevadia Tourism Circuit.

5. VAIBHAV Summit.

6. Mansar Lake Project.

 


GS Paper  : 1


 

Topics Covered: Modern Indian history from about the middle of the eighteenth century until the present- significant events, personalities, issues.

Rashtriya Ekta Diwas:


Context:

Observed on 31st October across the nation.

  • It marks the occasion of the birth anniversary of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel.

Background:

The government, in 2014, decided to observe Sardar Patel Jayanti Day as Ekta Diwas. This occasion provides an opportunity to re-affirm the inherent strength and resilience of the nation to withstand the threats to its unity, integrity and security.

About Sardar Vallabhai Patel:

Sardar Patel is credited with uniting all 562 princely states in pre-independent India to build the Republic of India.

Role in the Indian National Movement:

  1. 1917– Elected as the Secretary of the Gujarat Sabha, the Gujarat wing of the Indian National Congress.
  2. 1918– Led a massive “No Tax Campaign” that urged the farmers not to pay taxes after the British insisted on tax after the floods in Kaira.
  3. Supported the non-cooperation Movement launched by Gandhi and Patel toured the nation with him.
  4. 1928– When the lands of farmers were seized after they refused to pay the extra tax to the government, Patel helped the farmers by striking a deal between the government and farmers’ representatives.
  5. 1930– Imprisoned for participating in the famous Salt Satyagraha movement initiated by Mahatma Gandhi.
  6. 1931- Elected as the President of Indian National Congress in its Karachi session where the party deliberated its future path.
  7. Patel was also compelled to use coercion by launching ‘Operation Polo’ to liberate and integrate Hyderabad after the Nizam of Hyderabad entertained false hopes of either joining Pakistan or remaining independent.

Who gave him the title “Sardar”?

Women of Bardoli bestowed the title ‘Sardar’ on Vallabhbhai Patel, which means ‘a Chief or a Leader’.

statue

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. Who gave him the title “Sardar”?
  2. What is “Operation Poli”?
  3. Significance of the 1931 INC Karachi session.
  4. Who led the 1918 No Tax Campaign?
  5. Other important contributions by Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel.

Mains Link:

Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel was a selfless leader, who had a vision for the unification of the country’s interest above all other, and shaped India’s fate with unwavering devotion. Discuss.

Sources: PIB.

 

Topics Covered: Important Geophysical phenomena such as earthquakes, Tsunami, Volcanic activity, cyclone etc.

Typhoon Goni:


Context:

Typhoon Rolly or Goni has hit Philippines.

Hurricanes, typhoons and cyclones: What’s the difference?

They are all the same thing: tropical storms. But they are known by different names in different locations.

  1. In the North Atlantic Ocean and Northeast Pacific, they are called hurricanes.
  2. But if the same type of disturbance takes place in the Northwest Pacific Ocean, it is known as a typhoon.
  3. And in the South Pacific and Indian Ocean, cyclone is the correct term.

How storms form?

  • Air rises quickly when it is heated by warm sea water.
  • As the air cools down again it is pushed aside by more warm air rising below it.
  • This cycle causes strong winds. Over the sea, a tropical storm can whip up huge waves.
  • When these waves reach land they can flood large areas, including towns and cities.
  • Over land the strong winds can cause a lot of damage – they can flatten homes, knock over trees and even tip over cars.

What are the different parts of a cyclone’s structure?

The eye: The eye of the storm is the centre. It’s a relatively calm space. When the eye passes over an area, winds slow down and everything feels like it has cleared up. The part that comes after the eye usually inflicts the most damage.

The eyewall: This is where the most effective part of a cyclone rests. The eyewall houses extremely high wind speeds, causing damage to both lives and property. It is a ring of thunderstorms, and changes in the eye or the eyewall affects the storm’s intensity.

Rainbands: These are the outer parts of a cyclone where sudden bursts of rain happen. There can also be gaps betwen rainbands where no rain or wind occurs.

 

wind_speed

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. Factors responsible for the genesis of cyclones.
  2. Naming of cyclones in various regions of the world.
  3. Why more cyclones in Eastern coast of India?
  4. What is coriolis force?
  5. What is latent heat of condensation?

Mains Link:

Discuss the factors responsible for the formation of tropical cyclones. All about tropical cyclones:

Sources: the Hindu.

 


GS Paper  : 2


 

Topics Covered: Statutory, regulatory and various quasi-judicial bodies.

Minimum Requirements for Annual MBBS Admissions Regulations (2020):


Context:

Notified recently by the National Medical Commission (NMC).

  • It replaces the “Minimum Standard Requirements for Medical Colleges, 1999 of the erstwhile Medical Council of India (MCI).

Highlights of the new Regulation (Have a brief overview):

  • Applicable to all new medical colleges proposing to be established, and to the established medical colleges proposing to increase their annual MBBS intake from the academic year 2021-22.
  • The new Regulation has deleted the quantum of land required for setting up a medical college and its affiliated teaching hospitals.
  • Under the new Regulation, a well-equipped “Skills Laboratory” for training students is essential now.
  • It also defines a Medical Education Unit for training medical teachers in educational pedagogy.
  • Student counselling services has been mandated recognizing the increasing stress observed amongst medical students and residents in recent times.
  • The regulation now mandates the availability of a fully functional 300 bed multi-speciality hospital for at least 2 years at the time of application for establishing a new medical college (the earlier regulations did not specify the period of functionality).
  • Two new teaching departments have now become mandatory in all medical college hospitals for the training of undergraduate medical students. These include the Department of Emergency Medicine and the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation.

About the National Medical Commission:

The Centre has recently notified the 33-member NMC, which will be chaired for three years by Suresh Chandra Sharma.

  • Apart from the Chairman, the NMC will consist of 10 ex-officio members and 22 part-time members appointed by the Central government.

Functions of NMC:

  • laying down policies for regulating medical institutions and medical professionals.
  • assessing the requirements of human resources and infrastructure in healthcare.
  • ensuring compliance by the State Medical Councils with the regulations made under the Bill.
  • framing guidelines for determination of fee for up to 50% of the seats in the private medical institutions.

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. About the Medical Council of India.
  2. About NMC.
  3. Autonomous boards constituted.
  4. Functions of NMC.
  5. Composition.

Mains Link:

Discuss the roles and functions of the newly constituted National Medical Commission (NMC).

Sources: PIB.

 

Topics Covered: India and its neighbourhood- relations.

Gilgit-Baltistan a part of India, says MEA:


Context:

Pakistan is planning to accord provincial status to the “so-called Gilgit-Baltistan”.

 Latest developments:

  • Pakistan has announced holding elections for the legislative assembly of Gilgit-Baltistan later this month.
  • Pakistan Supreme Court has also allowed Islamabad to amend a 2018 administrative order to conduct general elections in the region.
  • The Gilgit-Baltistan Order of 2018 provided for administrative changes, including authorising the Prime Minister of Pakistan to legislate on an array of subjects.

 India’s response:

  • India has termed this move as an attempt to camouflage the “illegal” occupation of the region by Islamabad.
  • India has clarified that the Union Territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh, including the area of so-called ‘Gilgit-Baltistan’, are an integral part of India by virtue of the legal, complete and irrevocable accession of Jammu and Kashmir to the Union of India in 1947.

Where is Gilgit Baltistan located?

It borders China in the North, Afghanistan in the west and Kashmir in the south east.

It shares a geographical boundary with Pakistan-occupied Kashmir, and India considers it as part of the UT of Ladakh, while Pakistan sees it as a separate from PoK.

Key points:

  • China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) passes through this region.
  • The region is home to five of the “eight-thousanders” and to more than fifty peaks above 7,000 metres (23,000 ft).
  • Three of the world’s longest glaciers outside the polar regions are found in Gilgit-Baltistan.

Challenges ahead for Pakistan:

  • This would violate the Karachi Agreement — perhaps the only instrument that provides doubtful legal authority to Pakistan’s administration of GB — as well as the UN resolutions that would damage its position on the Kashmir issue.
  • Any such move would also be violative of the 1963 Pak-China Boundary Agreement that calls for the sovereign authority to reopen negotiations with China “after the settlement of the Kashmir dispute between Pakistan and India” and of the 1972 Simla Agreement that mentions that “neither side shall unilaterally alter the situation”.

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. Gilgit- Baltistan- Location, neighbours and important rivers flowing through.
  2. What is Karachi Agreement related to?
  3. The 1963 Pak- China Boundary Agreement.
  4. 1972 Simla Agreement.
  5. About PoK and CPEC.

Mains Link:

Where is Gilgit- Baltistan? How it came under the control of Pakistan? Discuss.

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.

What is a bulk drug park, and why does Himachal Pradesh want one?


Context:

Himachal Pradesh is vying for the allotment of a bulk drug park under a central government scheme.

The Central Government is planning to setup three such parks across the country.

What are bulk drugs or APIs?

A bulk drug is also called an active pharmaceutical ingredient (API).

It is the key ingredient of a drug or medicine, which lends it the desired therapeutic effect or produces the intended pharmacological activity.

  • Take for example- Paracetamol– It is a bulk drug, which acts against pain. It is mixed with binding agents or solvents to prepare the finished pharmaceutical product, ie a paracetamol tablet, capsule or syrup, which is consumed by the patient.

How are APIs prepared?

They are prepared from multiple reactions involving chemicals and solvents.

  • The primary chemical or the basic raw material which undergoes reactions to form an API is called the key starting material, or KSM.
  • Chemical compounds formed during the intermediate stages during these reactions are called drug intermediates or DIs.

Why is India promoting bulk drug parks?

India has one of the largest pharmaceutical industries in the world (third largest by volume).

But this industry largely depends on other countries, particularly China, for importing APIs, DIs and KSMs.

So, any disruptions in those countries would definitely affect the pharmaceutical industries here in India.

  • For instance, this year, drug manufacturers in India suffered repeated setbacks due to disruption in imports due to Covid 19.
  • The border conflict between India and China exacerbated the situation.

So, what India is doing?

Call for greater self-reliance: In June, the department of pharmaceuticals announced a scheme for the promotion of three bulk drug parks in the country.

  • A bulk drug park will have a designated contiguous area of land with common infrastructure facilities for the exclusive manufacture of APIs, DIs or KSMs, and also a common waste management system.
  • These parks are expected to bring down manufacturing costs of bulk drugs in the country and increase competitiveness in the domestic bulk drug industry.

Key features of the scheme for promotion of Bulk Drug parks:

  • The scheme will support three selected parks in the country by providing a one-time grant-in-aid for the creation of common infrastructure facilities.
  • The grant-in-aid will be 70 per cent of the cost of the common facilities but in the case of Himachal Pradesh and other hill states, it will be 90 per cent.
  • The Centre will provide a maximum of Rs 1,000 crore per park.
  • A state can only propose one site, which is not less than a thousand acres in area, or not less than 700 acres in the case of hill states.

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. Key features of the scheme mentioned above.
  2. Funding.
  3. Targets.
  4. What are active pharmaceutical ingredients?
  5. APIs in fixed- dose vs single- dose drug combinations.
  6. What are excipients in Medicine?

Sources: Indian Express.

 

Topics Covered: Cybersecurity related issues.

File FIRs for cybercrime, States told:


Context:

The Union Home Ministry has written to all States to examine and register FIRs based on the complaints received on the National Cybercrime Reporting Portal, www.cybercrime.gov.in.

Need for?

Only 2.5% of total complaints registered on the portal are converted into First Information Reports (FIRs).

According to data compiled by NCRB, the number of registered cybercrimes increased by 63.5% in the year 2019 compared with the previous year’s.

Efforts by the Home Ministry to raise awareness on this:

  • Through the above mentioned portal, the Ministry aims to raise a group of “cybercrime volunteers” to flag “unlawful content” on the Internet.
  • It has invited Good Samaritans to register as Cybercrime Volunteers in the role of Unlawful Content Flaggers for facilitating law enforcement agencies in identifying, reporting and removal of illegal / unlawful online content.

What is unlawful content?

It is categorised as content against the sovereignty and integrity of India, against defence of India, against security of the state, against friendly relations with foreign states, content aimed at disturbing public order, disturbing communal harmony and child sex abuse material.

Other Steps taken by the Government to spread awareness about cyber crimes:

  • A scheme for establishment of Indian Cyber Crime Coordination Centre (I4C) has been established to handle issues related to cybercrime in the country in a comprehensive and coordinated manner.
  • Establishment of National Critical Information Infrastructure Protection Centre (NCIIPC) for protection of critical information infrastructure in the country.
  • All organizations providing digital services have been mandated to report cyber security incidents to CERT-In
  • Cyber Swachhta Kendra (Botnet Cleaning and Malware Analysis Centre) has been launched for providing detection of malicious programmes and free tools to remove such programmes.
  • Formulation of Crisis Management Plan for countering cyber attacks and cyber terrorism.

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. About the Indian Cyber Crime Coordination Centre (I4C).
  2. National Critical Information Infrastructure Protection Centre (NCIIPC).
  3. CERT- In.
  4. Cyber Swachhta Kendras.

Mains Link:

Examine the role of cybersecurity in securing digital India.

Sources: the Hindu.

 

Topics Covered: Various Security forces and agencies and their mandate.

What is Army Aviation Corps?


Context:

Army Aviation Corps (AAC) celebrated its 35th Corps Day on November 1.

About AAC:

It is the youngest Corps of the Indian Army.

The Corps was raised as a separate formation on November 1 in 1986.

Composition: The AAC now draws its officers and men from all arms of the Army, including a significant number from the artillery.

Roles and functions:

  • The main roles played by the AAC choppers are that of reconnaissance, observation, casualty evacuation, essential load drops, combat search and rescue.
  • The AAC helicopters also participate in Humanitarian Aid and Disaster Relief (HADR) operations in peace times.
  • In some scenarios, Army helicopters can also act as Airborne Command Posts, replacing the ground command posts if needed.

The fleet:

The AAC currently operates Chetak, Cheetah, Lancer, Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH) Dhruv, and ALH Weapon System Integrated (WSI), also known as Rudra.

Sources: Indian Express.

 


Facts for Prelims


Ezhuthachan Puraskaram:

  • Instituted in 1993, it is the highest literary honour of the Kerala government.
  • Given by the Kerala Sahitya Akademi.
  • The award is named after Thunchaththu Ezhuthachan, the father of the Malayalam language and consists of a cash prize of ₹5,00,000 and a citation.

Context:

Writer Paul Zacharia has been selected for the 28th Ezhuthachan Puraskaram.

Places in News- Kaziranga National Park and Tiger Reserve (KNPTR):

  • It is a national park in Assam.
  • Formed in 1908 on the recommendation of Mary Curzon, the park is located in the edge of the Eastern Himalayan biodiversity hotspots – Golaghat and Nagaon district.
  • It hosts two-thirds of the world’s great one-horned rhinoceroses.
  • It is a World Heritage Site.
  • It is also recognized as an Important Bird Area by BirdLife International for the conservation of avifaunal species.
  • Much of the focus of conservation efforts in Kaziranga are focused on the ‘big four’ species— Rhino, Elephant, Royal Bengal tiger and Asiatic water buffalo.
  • Kaziranga is crisscrossed by four main rivers — Brahmaputra, Diphlu, Mora Diphlu and Mora Dhansiri.

What is 16 Psyche?

  • It is an asteroid which orbits between Mars and Jupiter.
  • Located around 370 million kilometres away from Earth in the asteroid belt.
  • First discovered in 1853 and was named after the ancient Greek goddess of the soul, Psyche.

Why in News?

A recent study has found that this asteroid could be made entirely of metal and is worth an estimated $10,000 quadrillion — more than the entire economy of Earth.

  • Images from NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope has shown that the surface may mostly comprise iron and nickel, similar to the Earth’s core.

Kevadia Tourism Circuit:

Context:

PM Modi recently inaugurated 17 tourism projects around the Statue of Unity (SoU), now called the ‘Kevadia Tourism Circuit’.

Key points:

  • Kevadia is a village in the tribal Narmada district. It is home to the Sardar Sarovar Dam reservoir on the Narmada river.
  • Kevadia circuit covers 35 tourist spots including the Valley of Flowers, Vishwa Van, Cactus Garden, Butterfly Garden.

VAIBHAV Summit:

The Vaishwik Bharatiya Vaigyanik (VAIBHAV) Summit is a global virtual summit of overseas and resident Indian researchers and Academicians.

  • The deliberations started on 3rd of October and concluded on the occasion of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel Jayanti, 31stOctober 2020.
  • Key areas of discussion included: quantum technologies, artificial intelligence and machine learning, communications technologies, computational and data sciences and aerospace technologies among others.

Mansar Lake Project:

Context:

Mansar Lake Development Plan in Jammu and Kashmir was inaugurated recently.

  • The project is eyed to attract almost 20 lakh tourists every year and create employment for 1.15 crore man-days with an income generation of ₹800 crore per year.

About Mansar lake:

Mansar Lake is situated 62 km from Jammu.

Surinsar-Mansar Lakes are designated as Ramsar Convention in November 2005.

mansar_lake


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