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INSIGHTS DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS + PIB SUMMARY- 9 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 2:

1. Why there are armed clashes in Ethiopia’s Tigray, and what it means for Horn of Africa?

2. What does President-elect Joe Biden mean for India, its relationship with the US?

3. Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions (ACABQ).

 

GS Paper 3:

1. Haryana to reserve 75% private jobs.

2. New UN alliance to stave off ‘catastrophic food crisis’.

 

Facts for Prelims:

1. Stanford University’s list of top 2 per cent scientists.

2. Atal Beemit (Bimit) Vyakti Kalyan Yojana.

 


GS Paper  : 2


 

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

Why there are armed clashes in Ethiopia’s Tigray, and what it means for Horn of Africa?


Context:

Ethiopia is on the brink of a civil war. A domestic conflict is going on in the country’s northern Tigray region.

Background:

The structure of Ethiopia’s federal system allows the country’s ten regions significant autonomy. These regions also have their own parliaments, their own security forces, and the right to a referendum for independent rule.

Impact on the Horn of Africa:

  • Eritrea may be hardest hit, due to its proximity to Tigray.
  • If the violence and conflict spills outside Ethiopia’s borders, it may potentially destabilize the Horn of Africa region.
  • The US and China have several strategic military bases in that region, the closest being Djibouti. If these military bases were to be impacted by the disturbances in any way, it may cause foreign powers to get militarily involved in the region and the conflict.

ethiopia

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. Locate Tigray Region.
  2. Horn of Africa.
  3. Countries surrounding the Red Sea.

Mains Link:

Why there are armed clashes in Ethiopia’s Tigray, and what it means for Horn of Africa? Discuss.

Sources: Indian Express.

 

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

What does President-elect Joe Biden mean for India, its relationship with the US?


Context:

Democrat Joe Biden has been declared the winner of the 2020 US presidential election.

Biden and India- Background:

Much before he became Vice President in the Barack Obama administration, Biden had advocated a stronger relationship with India.

  • Biden played an important role, both as Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and later as Vice President, in systematically deepening strategic engagement with India.
  • In fact, in 2006, three years before he became the Vice-President of the US, Biden announced his vision for the future of US-India relations: “My dream is that in 2020, the two closest nations in the world will be India and the United States,” he had said.

What was Joe Biden’s contribution during his term as VP in the Obama administration?

  1. The US officially declared its support for India’s membership in a reformed and expanded United Nations Security Council.
  2. India was declared a “Major Defense Partner” – a status approved by the US Congress – which made it easier to share advanced and critical technology to India to strengthen defence ties. This was crucial since it was for the first time that any country was given this status, outside of the US’s traditional alliance system.
  3. In August 2016, the two sides signed the Logistics Exchange Memorandum of Agreement (LEMOA), the first of the three “foundational pacts” for deeper military cooperation.
  4. Cooperation with India to fight terrorism was also strengthened.

How a Biden presidency may affect India’s economy?

  1. On trade, Biden is likely to be less obtrusive than the current Trump administration. In the Trump worldview, trade was a zero-sum game. In other words, a country had to lose for another to gain.
  2. A Biden presidency may also see a renewed push towards a rules-based trading system across the world — instead of outright ad-hocism as was the case under Trump — as well as a move away from the protectionist approach that has been getting strong across the world.
  3. Besides, how a US President looks at the H1-B visa issue, affects the prospects of Indian youth far more than the youth of any other country. Biden is unlikely to view immigrants and workers from India with Trump-like suspicion.
  4. Similarly, India’s exclusion from the US’ Generalized System of Preference could come up for reconsideration under Biden.
  5. The tricky issue of data localisation or capping prices of medicines and medical devices — have a better chance of getting towards a resolution as we move away from the radical approach of President Trump to the pragmatism of a Biden presidency.
  6. For an economy such as India, which needs a regular supply of cheap oil to grow fast, a normalisation of US-Iran relationship (and lifting of sanctions) would be more than useful.
  7. It is more likely that a Biden administration will help India against China, instead of clubbing the two together.
  8. Biden has promised to rejoin the Paris Climate Accord, and this may help countries such as India in dealing with the massive challenges — both technical and financial — on this front.

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. Parliamentary vs Presidential form of government.
  2. About the Paris Agreement.
  3. Overview of the US’ Generalized System of Preference.
  4. Types of Visas issued by the US.
  5. What are foundational pacts?

Mains Link:

What was Joe Biden’s contribution during his term as VP in the Obama administration? How a Biden presidency may affect India’s economy? Discuss.

Sources: Indian Express.

 

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

Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions (ACABQ):


Context:

Indian diplomat Vidisha Maitra elected to U.N. ACABQ.

About ACABQ:

Advisory Committee is an expert Committee of sixteen Members elected by the General Assembly for a period of three years, on the basis of a broad geographical representation.

  • Members serve in a personal capacity and not as representatives of Member States.
  • The Committee holds three sessions a year with total meeting time between nine and ten months per year.
  • The Chairman and Vice-Chairman of the Committee are elected by the Members of the Advisory Committee.

Functions:

  1. To examine and report on the budget submitted by the Secretary-General to the General Assembly.
  2. To advise the General Assembly concerning any administrative and budgetary matters referred to it.
  3. Examines, on behalf of the General Assembly, the administrative budgets of the specialised agencies and proposals for financial arrangements with such agencies.
  4. To consider and report to the General Assembly on the auditors’ reports on the accounts of the United Nations and of the specialised agencies.

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. About ACABQ.
  2. Composition.
  3. Functions.
  4. How members are elected?

Sources: the Hindu.

 


GS Paper  : 3


 

Topics Covered: Employment related issues.

Haryana to reserve 75% private jobs:


Context:

The Haryana State Employment of Local Candidates Bill, 2020 has been passed paving way for more employment opportunities for locals in private sector.

Key provisions of the Bill:

  • Sectors to be covered: All the companies, societies, trusts, limited liability partnership firms, partnership firms and any person employing 10 or more persons and an entity, as may be notified by the government from time to time.
  • Exclusion: It shall not include the central government or state government or any organisation owned by the central or state government.
  • Posts covered: Posts where the gross monthly salary or wages are not more than Rs. 50,000 or as notified by the government from time to time.
  • Exemption: The employer may claim exemption where adequate number of local candidates of a desired skill, qualification or proficiency are not available.
  • The employer may be penalised with fine upto Rs. 5 Lakh for not following provisions of this Act.

Concerns expressed by experts:

  • Haryana’s Bill may be in violation of Article 16. But, Haryana government claims that while Article 16 talks about the “public employment”, the Bill only pertains to “private sector employment”.
  • Besides, it may not be in the interest of industry.
  • There are apprehensions that if Haryana implements this kind of a reservation, other states will also follow the same and that shall result in a “complete chaos”.
  • Previously, Andhra Pradesh’s decision of introducing 75% reservation for local candidates was challenged in the Andhra Pradesh High Court which observed that “it may be unconstitutional”.

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. Key provisions of the Bill.
  2. Article 16 of the Indian Constitution is related to?

Mains Link:

Discuss issues associated with Haryana’s move to reserve 75% private jobs.

Sources: Indian Express.

 

Topics Covered: Food security related issues.

New UN alliance to stave off ‘catastrophic food crisis’:


Context:

Taking cognisance of the catastrophic food crisis caused by Covid 19 Pandemic and the urgency to tackle it, Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations has launched a Food Coalition.

About the Alliance:

Proposed by Italy and led by Food and Agriculture Organization, the alliance aims to increase resilience of agricultural food systems and ensure global food access.

  • Italy and the Netherlands have already pledged and delivered financial resources and technical support to the coalition.
  • The alliance would work as a network of networks and a multi-stakeholder coalition for a unified global action to ensure food access and increase the resilience of agricultural food systems in response to COVID-19.
  • The alliance involves a devoted trust fund and a web-based hub allowing participants to access a basket of project-focused information and data, as well as the funding and types of assistance needed for many on-the-ground projects.

Key Objectives of the alliance:

  1. Mobilising resources, expertise and innovation
  2. Advocating for a joint and coordinated COVID-19 response.
  3. Promoting dialogue and exchange of knowledge and expertise among countries.
  4. Working towards solution-oriented plans and programmes.
  5. Expanding international cooperation and partnership for a longer term impact.

Why do we need such United efforts?

  • Global food prices continued to rise in October for the fifth successive month, according to the FAO Food Price Index also released November 5. Even though the forecast for global cereal production was low, the output for 2020 was still expected to reach an all-time high.
  • COVID-19 could add up to 132 million more people to the ranks of the world’s undernourished in 2020 — a grave challenge that the pandemic poses to the eradication of hunger by 2030.

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. About FAO.
  2. About the Proposed alliance.
  3. Overview of the FAO Food Price Index.

Mains Link:

COVID-19 could add up to 132 million more people to the ranks of the world’s undernourished in 2020 — a grave challenge that the pandemic poses to the eradication of hunger by 2030. Discuss how we can avert such situations.

Sources: Down to Earth.

 


Facts for Prelims


Stanford University’s list of top 2 per cent scientists:

Stanford University has recently released a list that represents the top 2 per cent of the most-cited scientists in various disciplines.

  • The exhaustive list has 1,59,683 persons.
  • 1,492 Indians have found a place, with a majority of them being from IITs and IISc and other top institutes, representing fields like physics, material sciences, chemical engineering, plant biology, energy and others.
  • There are two Indian in the field of Inorganic and Nuclear Chemistry: Prof Gautam Desiraju, (ranked 2) and CNR Rao (ranked 3) close to the top.

Atal Beemit (Bimit) Vyakti Kalyan Yojana:

Launched by the Employee’s State Insurance (ESI) in 2018.

Aim: It aims to financially support those who lost their jobs or rendered jobless for whatsoever reasons due to changing employment pattern.

Eligibility criteria for availing the relief were relaxed in August this year, as under:

  1. The payment of relief has been enhanced to 50% of average of wages from earlier 25% of average wages payable upto maximum 90 days of unemployment.
  2. Instead of the relief becoming payable 90 days after unemployment, it shall become due for payment after 30 days.
  3. The Insured Person should have been insurable employment for a minimum period of 2 years before his/her unemployment and should have contributed for not les than 78 days in the contribution period immediately preceding to unemployment and minimum 78 days in one of the remaining 3 contribution periods in 02 years prior to unemployment.

 

Articles to be covered tomorrow:

1. Few small facts from the Hindu shall be covered tomorrow.


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