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INSIGHTS DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS + PIB SUMMARY- 12 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 Jharkhand is seeking a separate religious code for Sarna tribals?

2. Ladakh standoff: India, China finalising disengagement plan.

 

GS Paper 3:

1. Production-linked incentive (PLI) scheme.

2. Govt. to govern OTT platforms.

3. What is the unique maritime cluster coming up at GIFT City in Gujarat?

4. What is SpaceX-NASA’s upcoming Crew-1 mission launch?

5. Panna Tiger Reserve gets UNESCO’s ‘Biosphere Reserve’ Status.

 

Facts for Prelims:

1. Haiderpur wetland.

 


GS Paper  : 2


 

Topics Covered: Mechanisms, laws, institutions and bodies constituted for the protection and betterment of these vulnerable sections.

Why Jharkhand is seeking a separate religious code for Sarna tribals?


Context:

Jharkhand government has passed a resolution to send the Centre a letter to recognise Sarna religion and include it as a separate code in the Census of 2021.

What is the Sarna religion?

The holy grail of the faith is “Jal, Jungle, Zameen” and its followers pray to the trees and hills while believing in protecting the forest areas.

  • It is believed that 50 lakhs tribal in the entire country put their religion as ‘Sarna’ in the 2011 census, although it was not a code.

What’s the issue now?

Many of the tribals who follow this faith have later converted to Christianity—the state has more than 4% Christians most of whom are tribals.

  • The issue now is that the converted tribals are taking the benefits of reservation as a minority as well as the benefits given to Schedule Tribes.
  • So, those who are still following only Sarna faith say that benefits should be given specifically to them and not those who have converted.

Why the separate code?

  • The population of Sarna tribals in the state has declined from the 38.3 per cent in 1931 to 26.02 per cent in 2011. One of the reasons for this was tribals who go for work in different states not being recorded in the Census.
  • In other states, they are not counted as Tribals.

Therefore, the separate code will ensure recording of their population.

What sense does a separate code make?

Between 1871 and 1951, the tribals had a different code. However, it was changed around 1961-62.

  • Experts say that when today the entire world is focusing on reducing pollution and protecting the environment, it is prudent that Sarna becomes a religious code as the soul of this religion is to protect nature and the environment.
  • The protection of their language and history is an important aspect with tribals.

If the Centre approves the new Sarna code, Census 2021 would have to make space for a new religion.

  • Currently, citizens can choose from only six religions: Hinduism, Islam, Christianity, Sikhism, Buddhism and Jainism.

Sarna_tribals

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. Implications of having a separate code.
  2. About Sarna Tribes.
  3. Their beliefs and faith.

Mains Link:

What sense does a separate code make? Discuss in the context of demands by Sarna community to recognise it as a separate religion and include it as a separate code in the Census of 2021.

Sources: Indian Express.

 

Topics Covered: India and its neighbourhood- relations.

Ladakh standoff: India, China finalising disengagement plan:


Context:

India and China are working out modalities to finalise a plan for phased disengagement and de-escalation along the Line of Actual Control in eastern Ladakh.

  • At the recently held eighth round of Corps Commander talks, China proposed to pull back their troops and equipment from Finger 4 to Finger 8 on the North Bank.

Why there is a dispute here?

The Line of Actual Control (LAC) – the line that separates Indian and Chinese troops since 1962 – generally runs along the land except for the width of Pangong Tso.

Here, it runs through water. Both sides have marked their areas announcing which side belongs to which country.

India controls about 45 km stretch of the Pangong Tso and China the rest.

  • The current site of confrontation is spurs jutting out of Chang Chenmo, an eastern extension of the Karakoram Range. These spurs are called fingers.

So, what are these fingers? Who controls what?

There are eight of them in contention here. India and China have different understanding of where the LAC passes through.

  • India has maintained that the LAC passes through Finger 8, which has been the site of the final military post of China.
  • India has been patrolling the area – mostly on foot because of the nature of the terrain – up to Finger 8. But Indian forces have not had active control beyond Finger 4.
  • China, on the other hand, says the LAC passes through Finger 2. It has been patrolling up to Finger 4- mostly in light vehicles, and at times up to Finger 2.

Sarna_tribals

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. What is LoC and how is it established, geographical extent and significance?
  2. What is LAC?
  3. Where is Nathu la?
  4. Where is Pangong Tso?
  5. Who administers Akashi Chin?
  6. Where is Naku La?
  7. Who controls what in Pangong Tso lake region?

Mains Link:

Discuss the significance of Pangong Tso for India and China.

Sources: the Hindu.

 


GS Paper  : 3


 

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

Production-linked incentive (PLI) scheme:


Context:

The Central government has unveiled a production-linked incentive (PLI) scheme to encourage domestic manufacturing investments in 10 more sectors, with an estimated outlay of about ₹1.46 lakh crore over the next five years.

  • These sectors have been identified on the basis of their potential to create employment and make India self-reliant.

The 10 sectors include:

Food processing, telecom, electronics, textiles, speciality steel, automobiles and auto components, solar photo-voltaic modules and white goods, such as air conditioners and LEDs.

PLI_1

About the PLI scheme:

To make India a manufacturing hub, the government had announced the PLI scheme for mobile phones, pharma products, and medical equipment sectors.

  • Notified on April 1 as a part of the National Policy on Electronics.
  • It proposes a financial incentive to boost domestic manufacturing and attract large investments in the electronics value chain.

What the scheme seeks to achieve?

  1. Make domestic manufacturing competitive and efficient.
  2. Create economies of scale.
  3. Make India part of global supply chain.
  4. Attract investment in core manufacturing and cutting edge tech.
  5. Competitive manufacturing would in turn lift exports.

The_ground

 InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. Key proposals under the National Policy on Electronics.
  2. Production linked incentive scheme- when was it announced?
  3. Incentives under the scheme is available to?
  4. What kind of investments will be considered?
  5. Duration of the scheme.
  6. Who will implement it?

Mains Link:

What is the production linked incentive scheme for electronics manufacturers? Discuss.

Sources: the Hindu.

 

Topics Covered: Awareness in the fields of IT, Space, Computers, robotics, nano-technology, bio-technology and issues relating to intellectual property rights.

Govt. to govern OTT platforms:


Context:

The government has brought “Over the Top” (OTT) platforms or video streaming service providers under the ambit of Ministry of Information and Broadcasting.

As per the Gazette Notification:

  • Online films, digital news and current affairs content now come under the purview of the I&B Ministry, headed by Union Minister Prakash Javadekar.
  • This will give the government control over the OTT platforms, which were unregulated till now.

How was this sector regulated so far?

Currently, there is no law or autonomous body governing digital content.

But, from time to time, the government had indicated the necessity to monitor these platforms.

  • In October last year, the government had indicated that it would issue a “negative” list of don’ts for video streaming services like Netflix and Hotstar.
  • It also wanted the platforms to come up with a self-regulatory body on the lines of the News Broadcasting Standards Authority.

Self-regulatory code:

In January 2019, eight video streaming services had signed a self-regulatory code that laid down a set of guiding principles for the content on these platforms.

  • The code adopted by the OTTs in January last prohibited five types of content, including content which deliberately and maliciously disrespects the national emblem or flag and any visuals or story lines that promotes child pornography

WHAT IS OTT?

  • An “over-the-top” media service is any online content provider that offers streaming media as a standalone product.
  • The term is commonly applied to video-on-demand platforms, but also refers to audio streaming, messaging services, or internet-based voice calling solutions.
  • OTT services circumvent traditional media distribution channels such as telecommunications networks or cable television providers.
  • As long as you have access to an internet connection — either locally or through a mobile network — you can access the complete service at your leisure.

Why they are gaining popularity?

  • High-value content at low cost.
  • Original content like Netflix and Amazon prime.
  • Compatibility with multiple devices.

Sources: the Hindu.

 

Topics Covered: Infrastructure.

What is the unique maritime cluster coming up at GIFT City in Gujarat?


Context:

Gujarat Maritime Board (GMB) has been trying to develop such a maritime cluster at GIFT City in the state capital Gandhinagar through its subsidiary Gujarat Ports Infrastructure and Development Company Ltd (GPIDCL).

What is a maritime cluster?

It is an agglomeration of firms, institutions, and businesses in the maritime sector that are geographically located close to each other.

  • This concept is new to India, but these clusters have been driving some of the most competitive ports of the world like Rotterdam, Singapore, Hong Kong, Oslo, Shanghai, and London.

Unique institutions at the Gujarat Maritime Cluster:

  • Gujarat Maritime University will be set up.
  • Within this, an Alternate Dispute Resolution (ADR) Centre will be set up.
  • This centre will provide an option to Indian players seeking to avoid availing the services of international alternate dispute resolution hubs which entail huge costs, time, and travel.
  • The cluster is also expected to house the office of the Director General of Shipping.

Need for a maritime cluster:

To bring back businesses that have migrated over the years to foreign locations due to the absence of the right ecosystem in the country.

  • Gujarat has a lot of ports and handles 40 per cent of the country’s cargo, but we have not targeted the entire value-chain.

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. What is a maritime Cluster?
  2. What is International Financial Service Centre?
  3. Can they be set up in SEZs?
  4. India’s first IFSC.
  5. Services they provide?
  6. Limitations.

Mains Link:

Discuss the significance of international financial services centres.

Sources: Indian Express.

 

Topics Covered: Awareness in space.

What is SpaceX-NASA’s upcoming Crew-1 mission launch?


Context:

NASA has certified SpaceX’s Crew Dragon capsule and the Falcon 9 rocket, making it the first spacecraft certification provided by the space agency.

This means SpaceX can now operate regular flights to the space station.

  • SpaceX’s Crew Dragon spacecraft will lift off from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida on November 14.

What is the Crew-1 mission?

The mission is part of NASA’s Commercial Crew Program, whose objective is to make access to space easier in terms of its cost, so that cargo and crew can be easily transported to and from the ISS, enabling greater scientific research.

  • Significantly, Crew-1 will be the first operational flight of the SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft on a Falcon 9 rocket to the ISS and is the first of the three scheduled flights scheduled over the course of 2020-2021.

About the SpaceX’s Crew Dragon capsule:

It will carry up to four astronauts on NASA missions, maintaining a space station crew of seven to maximize time dedicated to scientific research on the orbiting laboratory.

What will members of Crew-1 do at the ISS?

  • The Crew-1 team will conduct microgravity studies.
  • Some of the research that the crew is carrying with themselves includes materials to investigate food physiology, which will study the effects of dietary improvements on immune function and the gut microbiome and how those improvements can help crews adapt to spaceflight.
  • Once in orbit, astronauts will collect samples to provide data to scientists back on Earth so that they can continue to study how dietary changes affect his body.
  • Another experiment aboard is a student-designed experiment titled, “Genes in Space-7” that aims to understand how spaceflight affects brain function.

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. NASA’s Commercial crew program- participants.
  2. Space shuttle program.
  3. Demo 1 vs 2 missions.
  4. What is ISS?
  5. Space stations so far.

Sources: Indian Express.

 

Topics Covered: Conservation related issues.

Panna Tiger Reserve gets UNESCO’s ‘Biosphere Reserve’ Status:


Context:

Madhya Pradesh’s Panna National Park has been declared a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve.

  • The UNESCO’s recognition cited PTR as a critical tiger habitat.

Background:

Every year UNESCO appoints new biosphere reserves and removes others to promote the conservation of biodiversity, resolve the man-animal conflict at that site and allow sustainable use of natural resources.

UNESCO’s Man and the Biosphere Programme (MAB):

The idea of the biosphere reserve was initiated by UNESCO in 1974 under the MAB with the objective of obtaining international cooperation for the conservation of the biospheres.

  • Launched in 1971, UNESCO’s Man and the Biosphere Programme (MAB) is an Intergovernmental Scientific Programme that aims to establish a scientific basis for the improvement of relationships between people and their environments.
  • MAB combines the natural and social sciences, economics and education to improve human livelihoods and the equitable sharing of benefits, and to safeguard natural and managed ecosystems, thus promoting innovative approaches to economic development that are socially and culturally appropriate, and environmentally sustainable.

Under this, Protection is granted not only to the flora and fauna of the protected region, but also to the human communities who inhabit these regions, and their ways of life.

  • The first of India’s reserves to make it to UNESCO’s list was Tamil Nadu’s Niligiri Biosphere Reserve in 2000.

About Panna Tiger Reserve:

  • The Panna tiger reserve is situated in the Vindhya mountain range in the northern part of Madhya Pradesh.
  • Ken river (a tributary of the Yamuna River) flows through the reserve.
  • The region is also famous for Panna diamond mining.
  • Ken-Betwa river interlinking project will be located within the tiger reserve.

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. About Panna Tiger Reserve.
  2. About UNESCO’S MAB Network.
  3. Biosphere Reserves in India.
  4. India’s National Biodiversity Action Plan.

Mains Link:

Write a note on UNESCO’s Man and the Biosphere Programme (MAB).

Sources: Hindustan Times.


Facts for Prelims:


Haiderpur wetland:

Context:

The forest department in Uttar Pradesh is working along with conservation organisations to eventually make the the Haiderpur wetland in Muzaffarnagar district a Ramsar site.

Key Points:

  • Fed by the Ganga and Solani rivers, the wetland came into existence in 1984 after the construction of the Madhya Ganga Barrage on the former.
  • It is spread over 1,214 hectares.
  • It is located within the boundaries of the Hastinapur Wildlife Sanctuary.
  • It is an important stopover destination for winter migratory birds like the Greylag goose and the Bar-headed goose.
  • The Haidepur wetland has been identified under Namami Gange, a flagship programme of the Government of India launched in 2014, as a model wetland along the Ganga.

 

Articles to be covered tomorrow:

  1. Home Ministry amends FCRA rules.

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