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INSIGHTS DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS + PIB SUMMARY- 1 December 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. Hold polls where NOTA got most votes: petition.

2. MLC disqualified for being appointed as a Minister.

3. Financial Action Task Force (FATF).

 

GS Paper 3:

1. Yamuna River pollution.

2. Fight ‘fake news’: BRICS Media Forum.

 

Facts for Prelims:

1. Indian peacock soft-shell turtle.

 


GS Paper  : 2


 

Topics Covered: Salient features of the Representation of People’s Act.

Hold polls where NOTA got most votes: petition:


Context:

An advocate has moved the Supreme Court for a direction that fresh elections should be held in a constituency where NOTA (‘None of the above’ option) garnered the maximum number of votes.

  • Besides, none of the candidates who lost to NOTA should be allowed to contest the fresh polls.

Views of the advocate :

  1. If the electorate has rejected the candidates by voting for NOTA, the parties should be barred from fielding them again in the fresh polls. The parties should accept that the voters have already made their discontent loud and clear.
  2. Right to reject and elect new candidate will give power to the people to express their discontent.
  3. Right to reject will check corruption, criminalisation, casteism, communalism. Parties would be forced to give tickets to honest and patriotic candidates.

Right to reject:

  • The ‘right to reject’ was first proposed by the Law Commission in 1999.
  • Similarly, the Election Commission endorsed ‘Right to Reject’, first in 2001, under James Lyngdoh [the then CEC], and then in 2004 under S. Krishnamurthy [the then CEC], in its Proposed Electoral Reforms.
  • Besides, the ‘Background Paper on Electoral Reforms’, prepared by the Ministry of Law in 2010, had proposed that if certain percentage of the vote was negative, then election result should be nullified and new election held.

The use of NOTA in elections:

  • The option of NOTA for Lok Sabha and assembly elections was prescribed by the SC in 2013.
  • The option of NOTA in RS polls was introduced by the EC in 2014.

Thus, India became the 14th country to institute negative voting.

How is a NOTA vote cast?

The EVMs have the NOTA option at the end of the candidates’ list. Earlier, in order to cast a negative ballot, a voter had to inform the presiding officer at the polling booth. A NOTA vote doesn’t require the involvement of the presiding officer.

Why have NOTA if there’s ‘no electoral value’?

  1. NOTA gives people dissatisfied with contesting candidates an opportunity to express their disapproval.
  2. This, in turn, increases the chances of more people turning up to cast their votes, even if they do not support any candidate, and decreases the count of bogus votes.
  3. Also, the Supreme Court has observed that negative voting could bring about “a systemic change in polls and political parties will be forced to project clean candidates”.

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. What is NOTA?
  2. Procedure to cast NOTA vote.
  3. When was it for the first time used?

Mains Link:

Right to reject and elect new candidate will give power to the people to express their discontent. Discuss.

Sources: the Hindu.

 

Topics Covered: Parliament and State Legislatures – structure, functioning, conduct of business, powers & privileges and issues arising out of these.

MLC disqualified for being appointed as a Minister:


Context:

The Karnataka High Court has held that Vishwanath stands disqualified under the anti-defection law and hence cannot be inducted into the state cabinet.

  • The High Court held that AH Vishwanath has incurred disqualification under Article 164(1B) and Article 361 B of the Indian Constitution.

Article 164(1B):

  • It states that a member of Legislative Assembly of a State or either House of the Legislature of a State having Legislative Council, belonging to any political party, if disqualified as a member of the Assembly, shall also be disqualified to be appointed as a Minister for the period of their disqualification.

What’s the issue?

A petition was filed in the court alleging that AH Vishwanath had been appointed as members of the Legislative Council for the sole purpose of making them ministers, despite the fact that Vishwanath had lost the bye-polls.

  • The petitioner argued that he was still disqualified as per the Supreme Court judgement on November 19, which upheld former Assembly Speaker Ramesh Kumar’s orders for disqualification.
  • The plea maintained that a disqualified member can become eligible to hold the position of a minister only if they win the bye-elections from the same constituency.

Background:

Article 361B- Disqualification for appointment on remunerative political post:

  • A member of a House belonging to any political party who is disqualified for being a member of the House under paragraph 2 of the Tenth Schedule shall also be disqualified to hold any remunerative political post for duration of the period commencing from the date of his disqualification till the date on which the term of his office as such member would expire or till the date on which he contests an election to a House and is declared elected, whichever is earlier.

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. Article 361B.
  2. Article 164(1B).
  3. Tenth schedule of Indian Constitution.
  4. Suspension of MLAs and MPs- powers and procedures.
  5. Grounds for disqualification of MLAs.

Mains Link:

Discuss the need for and significance of the 10th schedule of the Indian Constitution.

Sources: the Hindu.

 

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

Financial Action Task Force (FATF):


Why in News?

FATF recently held its annual joint experts’ meet.

  • It was attended by participants from various government agencies all over the world and international bodies such as the United Nations, the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and Interpol.
  • The FATF said it attaches great importance to effective information sharing, which is one of the cornerstones of a well-functioning AML/CFT [Anti-Money Laundering/Combating the Financing of Terrorism] framework.

table_1

About FATF:

The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) is an inter-governmental body established in 1989 on the initiative of the G7.

  • It is a “policy-making body” which works to generate the necessary political will to bring about national legislative and regulatory reforms in various areas.
  • The FATF Secretariat is housed at the OECD headquarters in Paris.

Roles and functions:

  1. Initially it was established to examine and develop measures to combat money laundering.
  2. In October 2001, the FATF expanded its mandate to incorporate efforts to combat terrorist financing, in addition to money laundering.
  3. In April 2012, it added efforts to counter the financing of proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.

Composition:

The FATF currently comprises 37 member jurisdictions and 2 regional organisations, representing most major financial centres in all parts of the globe. It also has observers and associate members.

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. G7 vs G8 vs G20.
  2. Black vs Grey list.
  3. Are FATF’s decisions binding on member countries?
  4. Who heads the FATF?
  5. Where is its secretariat?

Mains Link:

What is the mandate and objectives of the Financial Action Task Force? Discuss.

Sources: the Hindu.

 


GS Paper  : 3


 

Topics Covered: Conservation and pollution related issues.

Yamuna River pollution:


Context:

A ‘Monthly Progress Report’ was recently submitted by the Delhi Pollution Control Committee to the Union Ministry of Jal Shakti on cleaning Yamuna.

Key findings:

  1. The level of faecal coliform (microbes from human and animal excreta) is above the desirable limit at all points tested in Yamuna in Delhi.
  2. For bathing in a river, the desirable level of faecal coliform is 500 MPN/100 ml or lesser, as per the Central Pollution Control Board.
  3. Besides, levels of different pollutants are above permissible limits in ground water samples from different points near the four landfills in Delhi.
  4. Ground water samples from different points near landfills showed that the hardness of water was higher than the desirable limit of 300 mg/l.
  5. The levels of chlorine and calcium were also above the desirable limit in all four samples.
  6. The level of sulfate was higher than the desirable limit of 200 mg/l in some locations.

Insta Facts:

  1. The river Yamuna is a major tributary of river Ganges.
  2. Originates from the Yamunotri glacier near Bandarpoonch peaks in the Mussoorie range of the lower Himalayas in Uttarkashi district of Uttarakhand.
  3. It meets the Ganges at the Sangam in Prayagraj, Uttar Pradesh after flowing through Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, Haryana and Delhi.
  4. Tributaries: Chambal, Sindh, Betwa and Ken.

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. River Yamuna Flows through how many states and UTs?
  2. Tributaries of Yamuna.
  3. Acceptable maximum limit of ammonia in drinking water?
  4. Permissible level of Sulfate.
  5. Desirable limit of hardness of water.
  6. The desirable level of faecal coliform.

Sources: the Hindu.

 

Topics Covered: Cyber security related issues.

Fight ‘fake news’: BRICS Media Forum:


Context:

The Fifth BRICS Media Forum was held virtually recently.

  • At the end of the summit, representatives called for the five nations to work together to jointly combat the “virus of disinformation” in the pandemic era.

Concerns associated:

A common thread among members is a growing problem of disinformation or ‘fake news’.

  1. The news media around the world, especially daily newspapers, and also other forms of the media, have taken a big hit during the pandemic.
  2. Disinformation is being “transmitted globally at warp speed on the so-called technology platforms, notably Facebook, Twitter, Google, WhatsApp, and Instagram”.
  3. It was “a major threat not just to the mainstream media but, more importantly, to the lives and well-being of tens of millions of people and the safety and integrity of society as a whole.”

Need of the hour:

The BRICS Media Forum can make a real difference in the fight against motivated and harmful disinformation by:

  • Promoting and strengthening relevant media exchanges, workshops, training of journalists, and interactions with technology companies that are willing to work with us to contain and end the menace.
  • Rigorous fact-checking and investigation by well-trained teams of journalists and the new type of specialised fact-checking organisations can be supplemented by technological solutions, with the deployment of technologies like AI, in the fight against disinformation, especially large-scale online harms.

About BRICS Media Forum:

China’s Xinhua news agency came up with the idea of a BRICS Media Forum in 2015 to promote media cooperation.

The forum aims to:

  • Establish an efficient coordination mechanism among BRICS media.
  • Advance innovation-driven media development.
  • Gather stronger momentum for the development of BRICS countries through exchange and pragmatic cooperation under the mechanism.

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. BRICS- origin, when South Africa joined?
  2. About the New Development Bank (NDB).
  3. Which are the NDB funded projects in India?
  4. Fortaleza declaration is related to?
  5. What is the BRICS Contingent Reserve Arrangement?

Mains Link:

What is the mandate of New Development Bank and Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank? Examine whether the coming of NDB and AIIB changes the rules of development financing vis-à-vis the western dominated multilateral financing institutions?

Sources: the Hindu.

 


Facts for Prelims:


Indian peacock soft-shell turtle:

It is a riverine turtle endemic to India, Nepal, and Bangladesh.

They are generally omnivorous (predominantly carnivorous) and nocturnal.

Conservation Status:

  1. Vulnerable on IUCN Redlist.
  2. The species is also listed under Appendix I of CITES.
  3. Protected under the Schedule I of the Indian Wildlife (Protection) Act.

Belongs to the family Trionychidae.

turtle

 

Articles to be covered tomorrow:

  1. Shanghai Cooperation Organization.

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