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INSIGHTS DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS + PIB SUMMARY- 18 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. Bru refugees demand immediate implementation of settlement pact.

2. Hurricane Iota.

 

GS Paper 2:

1. How has the Supreme Court interpreted Article 32 over the years?

2. Study highlights online education woes.

 

GS Paper 3:

1. RBI’s debt restructuring scheme.

2. What mechanism do you have against fake news, SC asks govt.

 

Facts for Prelims:

1. Article 363-A.

2. Quick Reaction Surface to Air Missile (QRSAM).

3. Lilavati Award 2020 launched.

 


GS Paper  : 1


 

Topics Covered: Social empowerment, communalism, regionalism & secularism.

Bru refugees demand immediate implementation of settlement pact:


Context:

Leaders of the Mizoram Bru refugees have demanded commencement of their permanent rehabilitation in Tripura in the light of the quadripartite agreement signed in New Delhi in January.

Why is it being delayed?

The government had selected 12 places including the Kanchanpur subdivision in north Tripura where the Brus have been housed in six makeshift camps since 1997. However, the decision to settle some of the refugees is facing protests from a local forum called Joint Movement.

About the Bru-Reang refugee agreement:

The agreement, signed in January this year, is between Union Government, Governments of Tripura and Mizoram and Bru-Reang representatives to end the 23-year old Bru-Reang refugee crisis.

Highlights of the agreement:

  1. Under the agreement , the centre has announced a package of Rs. 600 crore under this agreement.
  2. As per the agreement the Bru tribes would be given land to reside in Tripura.
  3. A fixed deposit of Rs. 4 lakh will be given to each family as an amount of government aid. They will be able to withdraw this amount after two years.
  4. Each of the displaced families will be given 40×30 sq ft residential plots.
  5. Apart from them, each family will be given Rs. 5,000 cash per month for two years.
  6. The agreement highlights that each displaced family will also be given free ration for two years and aid of Rs. 1.5 lakh to build their houses.

Need for:

More than 30,000 Bru tribes who fled Mizoram, are residing in Tripura’s refugee camps.

This agreement will bring a permanent solution for the rehabilitation of thousands of Bru-Reang people in Tripura. They will be able to enjoy the benefits of all social-welfare schemes of governments.

Who are Brus?

The Brus, also referred to as the Reangs, are spread across the northeastern states of Tripura, Assam, Manipur, and Mizoram.

  • In Tripura, they are recognised as a Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Group. In Mizoram, they have been targeted by groups that do not consider them indigenous to the state.

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. Who are Brus?
  2. What’s the crisis all about?
  3. Where they have settled?
  4. What’s there in the peace agreement?
  5. Signatories of the peace agreement.
  6. About PVTGs.

Mains Link:

Reconciliation between the Mizo and the Bru communities is necessary for successful repatriation and for a long-term solution. Discuss.

Sources: the Hindu.

 

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

Hurricane Iota:


Context:

Hurricane Iota has made landfall in Nicaragua in Central America and has developed into a category five storm.

When do hurricanes occur?

The Atlantic Hurricane season runs from June to November and covers the Atlantic Ocean, the Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico, while the Eastern Pacific Hurricane season runs from May 15 to November 30.

  • Hurricanes are categorised on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale, which rates them on a scale of 1 to 5 based on wind speed.
  • Hurricanes that reach category three or higher are called ‘major hurricanes’ because of their potential to cause devastating damage to life and property.

What are hurricanes and how do they form?

Tropical cyclones or hurricanes use warm, moist air as fuel, and therefore form over warm ocean waters near the equator.

  • As NASA describes it, when the warm, moist air rises upward from the surface of the ocean, it creates an area of low air pressure below.
  • Air from the surrounding areas rushes to fill this place, eventually rising when it becomes warm and moist too.
  • When the warm air rises and cools off, the moisture forms clouds. This system of clouds and winds continues to grow and spin, fuelled by the ocean’s heat and the water that evaporates from its surface.
  • As such storm systems rotate faster and faster, an eye forms in the centre.
  • Storms that form towards the north of the equator rotate counterclockwise, while those that form to the south spin clockwise because of the rotation of the Earth.

What is the difference between a hurricane and a tropical storm?

There is no difference. Depending on where they occur, hurricanes may be called typhoons or cyclones.

  • As per NASA, the scientific name for all these kinds of storms is tropical cyclones.
  • The tropical cyclones that form over the Atlantic Ocean or the eastern Pacific Ocean are called hurricanes and the ones that form in the Northwest Pacific are called
  • Tropical storms that form in the Bay of Bengal or the Arabian Sea are called

rain_bands

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. Factors responsible for the genesis of hurricanes.
  2. Naming of cyclones/hurricanes 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.

Sources: Indian Express.

 


GS Paper  : 2


 

Topics Covered: Separation of powers between various organs dispute redressal mechanisms and institutions.

How has the Supreme Court interpreted Article 32 over the years?


Context:

A Supreme Court Bench headed by Chief Justice of India S A Bobde has observed that it is “trying to discourage” individuals from filing petitions under Article 32 of the Constitution.

  • The observation came during the hearing of a petition seeking the release of journalist Siddique Kappan, who was arrested with three others while on their way to Hathras, Uttar Pradesh, to report on an alleged gangrape and murder.

 What is Article 32?

Article 32 deals with the ‘Right to Constitutional Remedies’, or affirms the right to move the Supreme Court by appropriate proceedings for the enforcement of the rights conferred in Part III of the Constitution.

  • It states that the Supreme Court “shall have power to issue directions or orders or writs, including writs in the nature of habeas corpus, mandamus, prohibition, quo warranto and certiorari, whichever may be appropriate, for the enforcement of any of the rights conferred by this Part”.

 Key Points:

  • The right guaranteed by this Article “shall not be suspended except as otherwise provided for by this Constitution”.
  • Only if any of these fundamental rights is violated can a person can approach the Supreme Court directly under Article 32.

Can High Courts be approached in cases of violation of fundamental rights?

In civil or criminal matters, the first remedy available to an aggrieved person is that of trial courts, followed by an appeal in the High Court and then the Supreme Court.

When it comes to violation of fundamental rights, an individual can approach the High Court under Article 226 or the Supreme Court directly under Article 32.

  • Article 226, however, is not a fundamental right like Article 32.

What have been the Supreme Court’s recent observations on Article 32?

In Romesh Thappar vs State of Madras (1950), the Supreme Court observed that Article 32 provides a “guaranteed” remedy for the enforcement of fundamental rights.

  • This Court is thus constituted the protector and guarantor of fundamental rights, and it cannot, consistently with the responsibility so laid upon it, refuse to entertain applications seeking protection against infringements of such rights,” the court observed.

During the Emergency, in Additional District Magistrate, Jabalpur vs S S Shukla (1976), the Supreme Court had said that the citizen loses his right to approach the court under Article 32.

Finally, Constitutional experts say that it is eventually at the discretion of the Supreme Court and each individual judge to decide whether an intervention is warranted in a case, which could also be heard by the High Court first.

type_write

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. Types of Writs.
  2. Writs jurisdiction of the Supreme Court vs High Courts.
  3. About Articles 226 and 32.
  4. Who can approach the Supreme Court under Article 32?

Mains Link:

Discuss the significance of Article 32 of the Indian Constitution.

Sources: Indian Express.

 

Topics Covered: Issues related to education.

Study highlights online education woes:


Context:

A Study was conducted by the Azim Premji University on the efficacy and accessibility of e-learning.

  • The study examined the experience of children and teachers with online education.
  • The study, titled “Myths of Online Education”, was undertaken in five States across 26 districts and covered 1,522 schools.

What does the study reveal?

  • More than 60% of the respondents who are enrolled in government schools could not access online education.
  • Non-availability or inadequate number of smartphones for dedicated use or sharing, as well as difficulty in using apps for online learning, was the most important reasons why students were not able to access classes.

Concerns expressed:

  • Children with disabilities found it more difficult to participate in online sessions.
  • 90% of the teachers who work with children with disabilities found their students unable to participate online.
  • Almost 70% of the parents surveyed were of the opinion that online classes were not effective and did not help in their child’s learnings.
  • More than 80% surveyed said they were unable to maintain emotional connect with students during online classes, while 90% of teachers felt that no meaningful assessment of children’s learning was possible.

Sources: the Hindu.

 


GS Paper  : 3


 

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

RBI’s debt restructuring scheme:


Context:

Rating agency Crisil has said that as many as 99% of companies rated by it were unlikely to opt for the one-time debt restructuring scheme.

  • The finding is based on a preliminary analysis of 3,523 non-micro small and medium enterprise (MSME) companies.
  • This is despite two-thirds of the rated entities being eligible for restructuring, based on the parameters proposed by the KV Kamath committee.

Improving business sentiment and the ongoing, gradual recovery has minimised the need to avail of the facility, according to Crisil.

Background:

In August this year, RBI set up a committee headed by K.V. Kamath on restructuring of loans impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic.

  • The Committee was tasked to recommend parameters for one-time restructuring of corporate loans.

Recommendations made by the Committee:

  1. Graded approach to restructuring of stressed accounts based on severity of the impact on the borrowers- Banks can classify the accounts into mild, moderate and severe as recommended by the committee.
  2. Five financial parameters to gauge the health of sectors facing difficulties- total outside liabilities to adjusted tangible networth, total debt to earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization (Ebitda), debt service coverage ratio (DSCR), current ratio and average debt service coverage ratio (ADSCR).
  3. 26 sectors have been identified including auto, aviation, construction, hospitality, power, real estate and tourism.

Applicability of these recommendations:

  • The committee was to scrutinise restructuring of loans above ₹1500 crore.
  • The resolution under this framework is applicable only to those borrowers who have been impacted on account of Covid.
  • Only those borrowers which were classified as standard and with arrears less than 30 days as at March 1, 2020 are eligible under the Framework.

Why these measures were necessary? How serious is the debt problem?

Corporate sector debt worth Rs 15.52 lakh crore has come under stress after Covid-19 hit India, while another Rs 22.20 lakh crore was already under stress before the pandemic.

  • This effectively means Rs 37.72 lakh (72% of the banking sector debt to industry) remains under stress.
  • This is almost 37% of the total non-food bank credit.
  • Besides, Companies in sectors such as retail trade, wholesale trade, roads and textiles are facing stress. Sectors that have been under stress pre-Covid include NBFCs, power, steel, real estate and construction.

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. What are NBFCs?
  2. Difference between Payment Banks and commercial banks.
  3. KV Kamath Committee is related to?
  4. Key recommendations.

Sources: the Hindu.

 

Topics Covered: Cybersecurity related issues.

What mechanism do you have against fake news, SC asks govt.


Context:

The Supreme Court has recently asked the Centre to explain its “mechanism” against fake news and bigotry on air, and to create one if it did not already exist.

What’s the issue?

The Court said it was “disappointed” with the contents of the latest government affidavit, filed by Information and Broadcasting Secretary Amit Khare, in the Tablighi Jamaat case.

  • The case is based on petitions against the communal colour given by certain sections of the electronic media to the holding of a Tablighi Jamaat event in the National Capital during the lockdown.
  • The Jamiat petitions has sought a direction from the court to the Ministry to identify and take strict action against sections of the media that communalised the Tablighi incident.

What is Fake news?

Fake news is news, stories or hoaxes created to deliberately misinform or deceive readers.

  • Usually, these stories are created to influence people’s views, push a political agenda or cause confusion and can often be a profitable business for online publishers.

There are three elements to fake news: Mistrust, misinformation and manipulation.

Causes for Rise in Fake News:

  1. Widespread use of Internet and Social media.
  2. Lack of Checking Authenticity.
  3. No codes of practice for Social Media.
  4. Stratified Organization of Fake News: Organized and shrewdly disseminated to a target population.

Recent efforts by the Government:

The Bureau of Police Research and Development (BPRD), a think-tank under the Union Home Ministry has published guidelines to aid law enforcement agencies to identify fake news and videos.

What else is needed?

  1. The government must take the initiative to make all sections of the population aware of the realities of this information war and evolve a consensus to fight this war.
  2. Strict action against the fake news providers.
  3. Government should have independent agency to verify the data being circulated in social and other media. The agency should be tasked with presenting real facts and figures.
  4. Social media websites should be made accountable of such activities so that it becomes their responsibility to have better control over the spread of fake news.
  5. The artificial intelligence technologies, particularly machine learning and natural language processing, might be leveraged to combat the fake news problem.

Sources: the Hindu.

 


Facts for Prelims:


Article 363-A:

Article 363-A was inserted in the Constitution (Twenty-sixth Amendment) Act, 1971. This amendment is best known for abolition of Privy Purse.

Why in News?

A grandson of the last Nizam Nawab Mir Osman Ali Khan, Nawab Najaf Ali Khan, has lodged a complaint with the Hyderabad Police seeking registration of an FIR on a few other Nizam’s heirs alleging that they have used false documents to lay claim to the £35 million Nizam’s Fund lying in a U.K. bank.

  • He said, this move amounted to violation of Article 363-A of the Constitution.

Quick Reaction Surface to Air Missile (QRSAM):

  • QRSAM is a canister-based system, which means that it is stored and operated from specially designed compartments.
  • It is a short range surface-to-air missile (SAM) system, primarily designed and developed by DRDO to provide a protective shield to moving armoured columns of the Army from enemy aerial attacks.
  • The entire weapon system has been configured on a mobile and manoeuvrable platform and is capable of providing air defence on the move.
  • It has been designed for induction into the Army and has a range of 25 to 30 km.

Lilavati Award 2020 launched:

  • The Lilavati Award is an initiative of the technical education regulator, All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE), and it aims to recognise efforts by AICTE-approved institutions to treat women with ‘equality and fairness’.
  • The theme of the Lilavati Award is women’s empowerment. It aims to create awareness about issues like sanitation, hygiene, health and nutrition using ‘traditional Indian values’.
  • It also aims to create awareness about issues like literacy, employment, technology, credit, marketing, innovation, skill development, natural resources, and rights among women.
  • Entries for the Award can be submitted at the institution or team level, comprising students or faculty or both from AICTE approved institutions.

 

Articles to be covered tomorrow:

  1. 12th BRICS Summit.
  2. NHRC notes a drop in women workers

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