Print Friendly, PDF & Email

INSIGHTS DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS + PIB SUMMARY- 12 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 1:

1. Maharashtra bill on sexual crime.

2. Not all Indian droughts are caused by El Nino.

 

GS Paper 2:

1. N.K. Singh calls for a fresh look at the Seventh Schedule.

2. Plasmodium ovale and other types of malaria.

3. Justice Jain committee.

 

GS Paper 3:

1. What is assets under management (AUM)?

2. Declare exotic pets, avoid prosecution: how one-time scheme works.

 

Facts for Prelims:

1. What is WHO Pre-qualification?

2. Maharashtra to give film sector industry status.

3. Rules notified to serve warrants in Maldives.

4. MahaSharad.

 


GS Paper  : 1


 

Topics Covered:  Issues related to health.

Maharashtra bill on sexual crime:


Context:

The Maharashtra government this week presented a draft bill making changes to existing laws on violence against women and children.

  • The Bill is proposed to be enacted as Shakti Act, 2020.

What is the reason given by Maharashtra to bring in a new law?

An increase in the number of cases of violence, specifically sexual violence against women and children.

What does the draft bill proposes?

  1. The draft Bill proposes to make changes to the Indian Penal Code, the Code of Criminal Procedure and the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act.
  2. The changes are proposed in existing sections of rape, sexual harassment, acid attack and child sexual abuse.
  3. The Bill proposes death penalty in cases of rape, gang rape, rape by persons in authority, aggravated sexual assault of minors and in cases of acid attack when grievous injury is caused.
  4. The death penalty is proposed in cases which are heinous in nature and where adequate conclusive evidence is available and circumstances warrant exemplary punishment.

Are there any specific provisions related to social media?

The draft Bill proposes an additional law to deal with abuse of women on social media.

Section 354E is added to include intentional acts creating “a sense of danger, intimidation, and fear to a woman” apart from insulting her modesty by any act, deed or words including offensive communication will be an offence with a maximum punishment of two years and a Rs 1 lakh fine.

  • This also includes uploading morphed videos of women or threatening them with uploading of photos, videos which could defame, cause disrepute to them or violate their privacy.

Provisions for “false” information and “implied consent”:

The Bill also makes provision for making a “false complaint” or provides false information in respect of offence committed stating that anyone who does that “solely with the intention to humiliate, extort or threaten or defame or harass” a person shall face imprisonment for a term up to one year or fine or both.

InstaLinks:

Prelims and Mains Links:

  1. Key Provisions and significance of the law.

Sources: Indian Express.

 

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

Not all Indian droughts are caused by El Nino:


Context:

As per latest findings, nearly six out of 10 droughts, in non-El Nino years, that occurred during the Indian summer-monsoon season in the past century may have been driven by atmospheric disturbances from the North Atlantic region.

  • In 2014, India saw a 14% rainfall deficit — or a drought — that wasn’t linked to El Nino and before that in 1986 and 1985.

 Factors that influence these droughts:

  • These droughts are a consequence of a sudden and steep drop in rainfall in late August.
  • Winds in the upper atmosphere are interacting with a deep cyclonic circulation above the abnormally cold North Atlantic waters. The resulting wave of air currents, called a Rossby wave, curved down from the North Atlantic squeezed in by the Tibetan plateau and hit the subcontinent around mid-August, suppressing rainfall and throwing off the monsoon that was trying to recover from the June slump.

What is El Nino?

  • El Nino is a climatic cycle characterised by high air pressure in the Western Pacific and low air pressure in the eastern.
  • During this event, there is a warming of the sea surface temperature in the eastern and central equatorial Pacific Ocean.
  • It is one phase of an alternating cycle known as El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO).

What causes El Nino?

  • El Nino sets in when there is anomaly in the pattern.
  • The westward-blowing trade winds weaken along the Equator and due to changes in air pressure, the surface water moves eastwards to the coast of northern South America.
  • The central and eastern Pacific regions warm up for over six months and result in an El Nino condition.

El_nino

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. What is El Nino?
  2. What is La Nina?
  3. What is ENSO?
  4. When do these events occur?
  5. Impact of ENSO on Asia, Africa and Australia.

Mains Link:

Discuss the impact of La Nina weather phenomenon on India.

Sources: the Hindu.

 


GS Paper  : 2


 

Topics Covered: Indian Constitution- historical underpinnings, evolution, features, amendments, significant provisions and basic structure.

N.K. Singh calls for a fresh look at the Seventh Schedule:


Context:

Fifteenth Finance Commission chairman N.K. Singh has called for a fresh look at the Constitution’s Seventh Schedule, which forms the basis for allocating subjects to the Centre and States.

  • This is necessary to give more flexibility to States in implementing centrally sponsored schemes and to reinforce trust in fiscal federalism.

Seventh Schedule:

The seventh schedule under Article 246 of the constitution deals with the division of powers between the union and the states.

It contains three lists- Union List, State List and Concurrent List.

  • The union list details the subjects on which Parliament may make laws while the state list details those under the purview of state legislatures.
  • The concurrent list on the other hand has subjects in which both Parliament and state legislatures have jurisdiction. However the Constitution provides federal supremacy to Parliament on concurrent list items in case of a conflict.

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. What is 7th schedule?
  2. Subjects under seventh Schedule.
  3. Residuary powers.
  4. What happens when there is a conflict between a central law and state law.

Mains Link:

Discuss the need for review of 7th schedule of the Indian Constitution.

Sources: the Hindu.

 

Topics Covered: Issues related to health.

Plasmodium ovale and other types of malaria:


Context:

A not very common type of malaria, Plasmodium ovale, has been identified in a jawan in Kerala.

Types of malaria:

  • Malaria is caused by the bite of the female Anopheles mosquito, if the mosquito itself is infected with a malarial parasite.
  • There are five kinds of malarial parasites Plasmodium falciparum, Plasmodium vivax (the commonest ones), Plasmodium malariae, Plasmodium ovale and Plasmodium knowlesi.

Plasmodium ovale:

Symptoms include fever for 48 hours, headache and nausea, and the treatment modality is the same as it is for a person infected with P vivax. P ovale is no more dangerous than getting a viral infection.

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. Difference and examples of various diseases caused by Virus and Bacteria.
  2. Malaria- causes and treatment.
  3. Types of Malaria.

Sources: Indian Express.

 

Topics Covered: Important aspects of governance, transparency and accountability, e-governance- applications, models, successes, limitations, and potential; citizens charters, transparency & accountability and institutional and other measures.

Justice Jain committee:


  • Constituted by the Supreme Court in September 2018.
  • Its work is to unravel the rogue officials responsible for the infamous ISRO “frame-up” case of 1994, which destroyed the life and reputation of Nambi Narayanan, one of the country’s prominent space scientists.

What’s the issue?

At the time of his arrest on November 30, 1994, Mr. Narayanan was working on cryogenic engine technology at the premier Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO).

  • The police investigators had accused him of passing on documents and drawings of ISRO relating to Viking/Vikas engine technology, cryogenic engine technology and PSLV flight data/drawings to Pakistan.

What happened at the Supreme Court?

  • The Supreme Court dismissed the case in 2018 as a criminal frame-up based on “some kind fancy or notion”. It said Mr. Narayanan’s career was “smothered.”
  • The CBI, which took over the probe from the Kerala Police, had promptly filed a closure report in 1996. But Mr. Narayanan fought on to bring his accusers to justice.
  • The apex court, in its 2018 judgment, had called the treatment meted out to the scientist while he was in custody “psycho-pathological”.
  • The court ordered the Kerala government to pay Mr. Narayanan ₹50 lakh in compensation, though it said mere money was not enough to make up for the torture the scientist had endured for 24 years.
  • Also, the scientist had said that the prosecution launched by the Kerala police had a “catastrophic effect” on his career and personal life, besides setting back the technological advancement in space research.

Cryogenic technology:

  • Cryogenic technology involves the use of rocket propellants at extremely low temperatures.
  • The combination of liquid oxygen and liquid hydrogen offers the highest energy efficiency for rocket engines that need to produce large amounts of thrust.
  • Specific impulse (a measure of the efficiency) achievable with cryogenic propellants (liquid Hydrogen and liquid Oxygen) is much higher compared to earth storable liquid and solid propellants, giving it a substantial payload advantage.

Why this technology is important for India?

  1. India is only the 6th country to develop the cryogenic engine after the USA, France, Japan, China and Russia.
  2. It is important technology for India because India could launch heavy satellites (of weight more than 2500-3000kg) with the help of Cryogenic engines and its critical for the success of GSLV program.
  3. The technology also holds importance in the context that India was denied this technology in 1990s by the USA when India was making deal with Russian agency to transfer of technology.
  4. With this technology India does not have to depend on the other space agencies.
  5. It will not just help ISRO probe deeper into space but will also bring it extra revenue, enabling it to make commercial launches of heavier satellites. By providing the cost effective and reliable services India can tap the Asian and African space markets, which are looking towards India on this front.

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. What is Cryogenic Technology?
  2. How it works?
  3. Benefits.
  4. Challenges involved.
  5. Countries having this technology.

Mains Link:

Discuss the challenges involved in the development of cryogenic technology.

Sources: the Hindu.

 


GS Paper  : 3


 

Topics Covered: Indian economy related issues.

What is asset under management (aum)?


Context:

Heading for a contraction in the current fiscal, the first time in more than a decade, assets under management (AUM) of non-banking financial companies (NBFCs) are set to grow again at a relatively subdued 5-6% next fiscal.

  • The turnaround will be led by larger entities with stronger parentage.

Challenges ahead:

  • Despite an estimated GDP growth of 10% next fiscal, the overall NBFC sector growth is likely to be slower because access to funding remains a challenge due to concerns about the impact of the pandemic on asset quality.
  • Additionally, competition is expected to be more intense from banks which are flush with low-cost deposits and better placed with improved capital buffer than in the previous years.

What are Assets under management?

It measures the total market value of all the financial assets which a financial institution manages on behalf of its clients and themselves.

  • AUM is an indicator of the size and success of a given fund house.

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. What is AUM?
  2. Components.
  3. Positive and negative AUM- impacts.
  4. What are NBFCs?
  5. Types of NBFCs.
  6. Banks vs NBFCs- similarities and differences.

Sources: the Hindu.

 

Topics Covered: Conservation related issues.

Declare exotic pets, avoid prosecution: how one-time scheme works:


Context:

The Supreme Court has upheld an Allahabad High Court order granting immunity from investigation and prosecution if one declared illegal acquisition or possession of exotic wildlife species between June and December.

What is the government’s voluntary disclosure scheme?

The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC) has come out with an advisory on a one-time voluntary disclosure scheme that allows owners of exotic live species that have been acquired illegally, or without documents, to declare their stock to the government between June and December 2020.

What can be the impact?

With this scheme, the government aims to address the challenge of zoonotic diseases, develop an inventory of exotic live species for better compliance under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), and regulate their import.

What kind of exotic wildlife is covered?

  • The advisory has defined exotic live species as animals named under the Appendices I, II and III of the CITES.
  • It does not include species from the Schedules of the Wild Life (Protection) Act 1972.
  • A plain reading of the advisory excludes exotic birds from the amnesty scheme.

CITES:

  • CITES is an international agreement between governments to ensure that international trade in wild animals, birds and plants does not endanger them.
  • India is a member.
  • Appendices I, II and III of CITES list 5,950 species as protected against over-exploitation through international trade.
  • Many of these animals, such as iguanas, lemurs, civets, albino monkeys, coral snakes, tortoises, are popular as exotic pets in India.

How big a problem is illegal trade of exotic animals in India?

  • The Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI), which enforces anti-smuggling laws, says India has emerged as a big demand centre for exotic birds and animals with an increase in smuggling of endangered species from different parts of the world.
  • Most of this exotic wildlife is imported through Illegal channels and then sold in the domestic market as pets.

cites

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. What are exotic species- definition in the advisory?
  2. What is CITES?
  3. Classification of species under CITES?
  4. What is Wildlife (Protection) Act? Species protected under various schedules of this act.
  5. As per the new guidelines, what is the procedure to be followed while importing new exotic species?
  6. What about the existing species in the country?
  7. About chief wildlife warden of the state.

Mains Link:

Discuss the significance of recently issued guidelines for import of exotic species in the country.

Sources: Indian Express.

 


Facts for Prelims:


What is WHO Pre-qualification?

The Prequalification project, set up in 2001, is a service provided by the World Health Organization (WHO) to facilitate access to medicines that meet unified standards of quality, safety and efficacy for HIV/AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis.

  • The prequalification process consists of a transparent, scientifically sound assessment, which includes dossier review, consistency testing or performance evaluation and site visits to manufacturers

Context:

A single-dose injectable Typhoid Conjugate Vaccine of Biological E has been pre-qualified by the World Health Organisation, making the vaccine maker one of two pre-qualified suppliers of TCV to UN agencies.

Maharashtra to give film sector industry status:

Maharashtra government has moved to sanction industry status to the film and entertainment sector.

  • The term ‘industry status’ has not actually been specifically defined in any legislation in India. Conferring industry status basically entails an inclusion in the State/Central industrial policy.

The immediate benefits would be: (i) getting loans with less trouble at lower interest rates; (ii) enabling large investors to be financing partners; (iii) attracting equity investment in the sector; and (iv) enabling developers to refinance their existing debts.

Rules notified to serve warrants in Maldives:

The Ministry of Home Affairs has notified rules for Indian courts to send summons or search warrants to accused persons in the Maldives and wanted in India, as per an agreement signed between the two countries.

MahaSharad:

  • To be launched by Maharashtra Social Justice Department.
  • It is a digital platform which will provide for free the tools required by differently-abled people.
  • MahaSharad stands for Maharashtra System of Health Rehabilitation and Assistance for Divyang.

Articles to be covered tomorrow:

  1. New cross-sector initiative for universal health coverage.
  2. India is on track to reduce emissions.
  3. Delimitation should be based on 2031 Census.

  • Join our Official Telegram Channel HERE for Motivation and Fast Updates
  • Subscribe to our YouTube Channel HERE to watch Motivational and New analysis videos