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INSIGHTS DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS + PIB SUMMARY- 13 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. What is ‘contempt of court’, and why does the A-G have to consent to these proceedings?

2. Pneumonia and Diarrhoea Progress Report.

3. India, ASEAN to expand trade despite RCEP walkout.

4. What is the Sino-British Joint Declaration?

5. International Atomic Energy Agency.

 

GS Paper 3:

1. Kalvari class of submarines.

 

Facts for Prelims:

1. China holds virtual conference with South Asian partners.

2. China begins work on rail line up to Arunachal border.

3. Home Ministry Amends FCRA rules.

 


GS Paper  : 2


 

Topics Covered: Structure, organization and functioning of the Executive and the Judiciary Ministries and Departments of the Government; pressure groups and formal/informal associations and their role in the Polity.

What is ‘contempt of court’, and why does the A-G have to consent to these proceedings?


Context:

Kunal Kamra, a stand-up comedian, will face contempt of court charges for his tweets following the Supreme Court’s decision to grant interim bail to television anchor Arnab Goswami.

What is contempt of court?

According to the Contempt of Courts Act, 1971, contempt of court can either be civil contempt or criminal contempt.

Civil contempt means wilful disobedience of any judgment, decree, direction, order, writ or other process of a court, or wilful breach of an undertaking given to a court.

Criminal contempt is attracted by the publication (whether by words, spoken or written, or by signs, or by visible representations, or otherwise) of any matter or the doing of any other act whatsoever which:

  1. Scandalises or tends to scandalise, or lowers or tends to lower the    authority of, any court; or
  2. Prejudices, or interferes or tends to interfere with, the due course of any judicial proceeding; or
  3. Interferes or tends to interfere with, or obstructs or tends to obstruct, the administration of justice in any other manner.

Why is the A-G’s consent needed to initiate contempt of court proceedings?

As per the provisions of the Contempt of Courts Act, 1971: “In the case of a criminal contempt, other than a contempt referred to in Section 14 (“Procedure where contempt is in the face of the Supreme Court or a High Court”), the Supreme Court or the High Court may take action on its own motion or on a motion made by (a) the Advocate-General, or (b) any other person, with the consent in writing of the Advocate-General”.

What is the punishment for contempt of court?

May be punished with simple imprisonment for a term which may extend to six months, or with fine which may extend to two thousand rupees, or with both, provided that the accused may be discharged or the punishment awarded may be remitted on apology being made to the satisfaction of the court.

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. Powers of SC vs HCs wrt Contempt cases.
  2. Constitutional provisions in this regard.
  3. Changes brought about by Contempt of Courts (Amendment) Act, 2006.
  4. Civil vs Criminal contempt.
  5. Rights under Article 19.
  6. Section 10 of The Contempt of Courts Act of 1971 is related to?

Mains Link:

Discuss how contempt cases are handled by Supreme Court in India.

Sources: Indian Express.

 

Topics Covered: Issues related to health.

Pneumonia and Diarrhoea Progress Report:


Context:

Released annually by the International Vaccine Access Centre (IVAC).

Highlights of this year’s Report:

  1. India has made significant progress in its vaccination coverage to prevent child pneumonia and diarrhoea deaths.
  2. Although overall the world’s health systems are falling short of ensuring that children have access to prevention and treatment services, India has achieved the global target of 90% coverage for three of the five vaccines whose coverage is monitored in the report.
  3. These vaccines are Diphtheria, Pertussis and Tetanus (DPT) vaccine, Measles-containing-vaccine first dose, Haemophilus influenzae type B, pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV), and rotavirus vaccine.
  4. India has also completed the “100-day agenda” — an unprecedented national scale-up of rotavirus vaccine. This landmark vaccine expansion will help protect 26 million children born each year against life-threatening cases of rotavirus diarrhoea.
  5. However, India failed to reach all four targets for treatment- breastfeeding, immunisation, care-seeking and antibiotics, oral rehydration solution (ORS), and zinc supplementation.

report_card

Background- pneumonia and diarrhoea:

Pneumonia and diarrhoea are leading killers of the world’s youngest children, accounting for 29 per cent of deaths among children under age 5 – or more than 2 million lives lost each year. Yet, levels of prevention and treatment remain low, particularly among the poor.

pneumonia

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. Pneumonia- types, causes and symptoms.
  2. Antigens vs Antibodies.
  3. How a vaccine works?
  4. Types of vaccines.
  5. About DGCI.
  6. Procedure to be followed for vaccine approval in India.
  7. About the first fully indigenously developed conjugate vaccine for pneumonia- Pneumococcal Polysaccharide Conjugate Vaccine.

Sources: the Hindu.

 

Topics Covered: India and its neighbourhood- relations.

India, ASEAN to expand trade despite RCEP walkout:


Context:

India and ASEAN countries said they would explore ways to increase trade between them despite India’s exit from the 15-nation Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) agreement.

What is the RCEP?

  • The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership is a free trade agreement originally devised to consist of 16 countries across the Asia-Pacific region.
  • However, it is now expected to be signed on November 15, between China, Australia, South Korea, Japan, and 10 Association of South East Asian (ASEAN) nations.
  • The pact looks to drop tariffs and duties between the members so that goods and services can flow freely between them.

India and the RCEP:

May 15 was the deadline for a response to a fresh proposal of India rejoining negotiations on the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP).

Why India didn’t sign?

  1. India’s trade deficit with the RCEP nations is $105 billion, of which China alone accounts for $54 billion. Further relaxations would enhance the deficit.
  2. The worry is also over Chinese manufactured goods and dairy products from New Zealand flooding Indian markets, hurting domestic interests.
  3. The trade agreement was also seen as being detrimental to the government’s Make in India initiative.
  4. India was looking for specific rules of origin to ensure the trade pact wasn’t abused by non-partner countries and an auto-trigger mechanism to protect it from a surge in imports.
  5. Ecommerce and trade remedies were among other key areas of concern that failed to find satisfactory redressal.
  6. India has expressed its concerns over lowering and elimination of tariffs on products from other countries, as it would negatively affect the domestic agricultural and industrial sector.
  7. India was also worried about keeping 2014 as the base year for tariff reductions.

RCEP

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. RCEP- composition and objectives.
  2. India’s free trader agreements with ASEAN countries.
  3. India dairy sector.
  4. Geographical location of asean countries.

Mains Link:

Discuss why India did not join the RCEP.

Sources: the Hindu.

 

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

What is the Sino-British Joint Declaration?


Context:

Britain has accused China of breaking its international treaty obligations, after four pro-democracy lawmakers were ousted from Hong Kong’s legislature on security grounds.

  • Britain said the new rules to disqualify elected assembly members was “a clear breach of the legally binding Sino-British Joint Declaration”.

What is it?

  • It is an agreement signed by Britain and China in 1984 to settle the future of Hong Kong.
  • The two governments agreed China would reassume control of Hong Kong, which was occupied by Britain after the Opium War in 1840, from July 1, 1997.
  • The declaration was later deposited with the United Nations.

What are the main points of the joint declaration?

  • It states that China’s basic policies regarding Hong Kong which “will remain unchanged for 50 years”, including the promise that the city would retain a high degree of autonomy.
  • It also states that Hong Kong’s legal and judicial system would also be unchanged for 50 years after 1997.
  • It held that Britain would be would be responsible for the administration of Hong Kong until 1997 and the Chinese government would give its cooperation.

Is the joint declaration still valid now that Beijing governs Hong Kong?

The high degree of autonomy that Beijing pledged to grant Hong Kong has been a thorny subject since the 1997 handover.

The issue was exacerbated in June 2014 when the State Council released a white paper stating that Beijing had “comprehensive jurisdiction” over Hong Kong.

  • Now, China says the declaration was “now void and covered only the period from the signing in 1984 until the handover in 1997”.
  • But, the Britain argues the agreement remained in effect and was a legally binding agreement that must be honoured.

hong_kong

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. Geographical location of Hong Kong.
  2. What is one country two systems rule?
  3. Relationship of Macau with China.
  4. About Sino-Britain declaration.

Sources: the Hindu.

 

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

International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA):


Context:

North Korea has accused IAEA of being a puppet of hostile countries after a new report said North Korea’s nuclear weapons stockpile was breaking international law.

Observations made by North Korea:

  • The IAEA is no more than a political tool of the Western countries.
  • It was “a marionette dancing to the tune of the hostile forces” against North Korea.

What’s the issue?

Pyongyang has gradually built an atomic stockpile after abandoning the Non-Proliferation Treaty in 2003, and has tested several nuclear bombs in the years since.

  • Besides, IAEA’s inspectors have not been allowed into the country for more than a decade.
  • So, IAEA had recently observed that Pyongyang’s weapons programme was “deeply regrettable” and the country’s nuclear activities “remain a cause for serious concern”.

Background:

North Korea is widely believed to have continued to develop its arsenal — which it says it needs to protect itself from a US invasion — throughout the discussions.

About IAEA:

Set up as the world’s “Atoms for Peace” organization in 1957 within the United Nations family.

Reports to both the United Nations General Assembly and Security Council.

Headquarters in Vienna, Austria.

Functions:

  • Works with its Member States and multiple partners worldwide to promote the safe, secure and peaceful use of nuclear technologies.
  • Seeks to promote the peaceful use of nuclear energy, and to inhibit its use for any military purpose, including nuclear weapons.

Board of Governors:

22 member states (must represent a stipulated geographic diversity) — elected by the General Conference (11 members every year) – 2 year term.

  • At least 10 member states — nominated by the outgoing Board.
  • Board members each receive one vote.

Functions:

  1. Recommendations to the General Conference on IAEA activities and budget.
  2. Responsible for publishing IAEA standards.
  3. Responsible for making most of the policy of the IAEA.
  4. Appoints the Director General subject to General Conference approval.

Programs:

  • Program of Action for Cancer Therapy (PACT).
  • Human Health Program.
  • Water Availability Enhancement Project.
  • International Project on Innovative Nuclear Reactors and Fuel Cycles, 2000.

nuclear_war

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. What is IAEA? Relation with the UN.
  2. Members of IAEA.
  3. Programs of IAEA.
  4. Board of Governors- composition, voting and functions.
  5. What is Uranium Enrichment?

Sources: the Hindu.

 


GS Paper  : 3


 

Topics Covered: Indigenization of technology.

Kalvari class of submarines:


Context:

Indian Navy’s fifth Kalvari-class Diesel Electric attack submarine INS Vagir was launched recently at Mazgaon Dock in Mumbai.

  • The other vessels in the class are INS Kalvari, INS Khanderi, INS Karanj, INS Vela and INS Vagsheer.

About Kalvari Class of submarines:

This class of submarines have Diesel Electric transmission systems and these are primarily attack submarines or ‘hunter-killer’ type which means they are designed to target and sink adversary naval vessels.

  • They can be used in anti-warship and anti-submarine operations, intelligence gathering and surveillance and naval mine laying.
  • These submarines are built under Project 75 and their design is based on the Scorpene class of the submarines.
  • Being constructed by the public sector shipbuilder Mazagon Dock Ltd (MDL) in Mumbai.
  • Design is based on Scorpene class of submarines designed and developed by French defence major Naval Group formerly DCNS and Spanish state owned entity Navantia.

(Note: In maritime parlance a class of ships is a group of vessels which have the same make, purpose and displacement).

Facts for Prelims:

(Just have a brief overview of these facts)

Origins of the names of ships mentioned above:

  1. Kalvari – means Tiger Shark.
  2. Vagir has been named after a Sand Fish, a predatory marine species.
  3. Khanderi has been named after an Island Fort built by Chhatrapati Shivaji, which played a key role in his Navy.
  4. Karanj has also been named after an Island located South of Mumbai.

India’s submarine fleet:

India currently operates one submarine each in nuclear powered Classes of Chakra and Arihant and in addition to 14 submarines belonging to three classes of Diesel Electric category — Kalvari, Shishumar and Sindhughosh.

Sources: Indian Express.


Facts for Prelims:


China holds virtual conference with South Asian partners:

Participants: China, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Nepal and Pakistan.

Objective: The participants discussed collective response to the second wave of COVID-19.

The Five Parties: The participating countries called themselves “the Five Parties”.

Significance and implications of the meet:

  • The virtual meet comes less than four months after China chaired a quadrilateral meet with the Foreign Ministers of Afghanistan, Nepal and Pakistan, in a bid to strengthen cooperation among the four nations in pandemic response and economic recovery.
  • The two virtual meets appear part of China’s growing engagement in the region, in the wake of the global pandemic.

China begins work on rail line up to Arunachal border:

  • China has begun work on a strategically significant railway line that will link Sichuan province with Nyingchi.
  • This lies near the border with India’s Arunachal Pradesh.
  • Like the Qinghai-Tibet railway line, which in 2006 connected Lhasa to the hinterland, this will be the second such route linking the Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR) to the hinterland.

RAIl

Home Ministry Amends FCRA rules:

Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has notified new rules under the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA), 2010.

Under the New Rules:

  1. The organisations specified under clauses (v) and (vi) of sub-rule (1) shall be considered to be of political nature, if they participate in active politics or party politics, as the case may be.
  2. A new clause has been inserted which says that groups mentioned in Clause V and VI will only be considered a political group by the Centre if they participate in “active politics or party politics”.
  3. The new rules also make new FCRA registrations more stringent. Any organisation that wants to register itself under FCRA “shall be in existence for three years” and should have “spent a minimum amount of ₹15 lakh on its core activities for the benefit of society during the last three financial years”.

Background:

Clause V of Rule 3 (FCRA 2011) qualified a political group as, “organisations of farmers, workers, students, youths based on caste, community , religion, language or otherwise, which is not directly aligned to any political party, but whose objectives as stated in the memorandum of association, or activities gathered through other material evidence, include steps towards advancement of political interests of such groups”.

 

Articles to be covered tomorrow:

  1. Atmanirbhar Package 3.0.
  2. Trump is not conceding defeat; what’s next?

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