Print Friendly, PDF & Email

INSIGHTS DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS + PIB SUMMARY- 16 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. What is causing the dip in Delhi’s temperature?

 

GS Paper 2:

1. What is a review petition?

2. Overseas Citizens of India (OCI).

3. Why won’t Gulf NRIs get postal voting rights for now?

4. What is the S-400 deal? Why is India cautious as US sanctions Turkey?

5. Who are Uighurs?

 

GS Paper 3:

1. Spike in return of people to Bangladesh.

 

Facts for Prelims:

1. DakPay.

2. FSDC.

3. Himalayan serow.

 


GS Paper  : 1


 

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

What is causing the dip in Delhi’s temperature?


Context:

Recently, a rapid decline in minimum temperature in Delhi was noted from 14.4 degrees Celsius to 4.1 degrees.

  • The dip was five degrees below the normal temperature for this time of the year.

What is causing the dip in Delhi’s temperature?

  • There has been a significant amount of snowfall over the past few days in states falling in the western Himalayan range Jammu & Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand under the influence of a Western Disturbance.
  • Snowfall in the western Himalayan range means cold, north-westerly winds blowing over Delhi from the direction of this high altitude area, and clearing of cloud cover with the passing of Western Disturbance, and leads to a fall in temperatures.
  • The lack of cloud cover also leads to higher radiation from the Earth’s surface into the atmosphere at night time, which also cools the ground.
  • Moreover, under the influence of an active La Niña climate pattern, temperatures across the globe have been dipping.

Background:

A Western Disturbance, labelled as an extra-tropical storm originating in the Mediterranean, is an area of low pressure that brings sudden showers, snow and fog in northwest India.

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. What is a western disturbance?
  2. What is ENSO oscillation?
  3. Impact of La Nina on India.
  4. What is a jet stream?
  5. What are mango showers?

Sources: Indian Express.

 


GS Paper  : 2


 

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

What is a review petition?


Context:

Activist-lawyer Prashant Bhushan has moved the Supreme Court seeking a direction that his two pleas, in which he has sought review of the orders convicting and sentencing him for contempt of court, be heard after adjudication of his separate petition raising the issue of right to appeal in such matter.

What is a review petition and when can it be filed?

A judgment of the Supreme Court becomes the law of the land, according to the Constitution. It is final because it provides certainty for deciding future cases.

However, the Constitution itself gives, under Article 137, the Supreme Court the power to review any of its judgments or orders. This departure from the Supreme Court’s final authority is entertained under specific, narrow grounds.

  • So, when a review takes place, the law is that it is allowed not to take fresh stock of the case but to correct grave errors that have resulted in the miscarriage of justice.

When can a review petition be accepted?

In a 1975 ruling, Justice Krishna Iyer said a review can be accepted “only where a glaring omission or patent mistake or like grave error has crept in earlier by judicial fallibility”.

  • A review is by no means an appeal in disguise. That means the Court is allowed not to take fresh stock of the case but to correct grave errors that have resulted in the miscarriage of justice.

Filing Review Petition:

  • As per the Civil Procedure Code and the Supreme Court Rules, any person aggrieved by a ruling can seek a review. This implies that it is not necessary that only parties to a case can seek a review of the judgment.
  • A Review Petition has to be filed within 30 days of the date of judgment or order.
  • In certain circumstances, the court can condone the delay in filing the review petition if the petitioner can establish strong reasons that justify the delay.

The procedure to be followed:

  1. The rules state that review petitions would ordinarily be entertained without oral arguments by lawyers. It is heard “through circulation” by the judges in their chambers.
  2. Review petitions are also heard, as far as practicable, by the same combination of judges who delivered the order or judgment that is sought to be reviewed.
  3. If a judge has retired or is unavailable, a replacement is made keeping in mind the seniority of judges.
  4. In exceptional cases, the court allows an oral hearing. In a 2014 case, the Supreme Court held that review petitions in all death penalty cases will be heard in open court by a Bench of three judges.

Option after Review Petition Fails:

In Roopa Hurra v Ashok Hurra case (2002), the Court evolved the concept of a curative petition, which can be heard after a review petition is dismissed.

  • A curative petition is also entertained on very narrow grounds like a review petition and is generally not granted an oral hearing.

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. Review vs Curative petition.
  2. Procedure to be followed.
  3. Who can file?
  4. Time- period within which a review petition should be filed?
  5. What is Section 497 of IPC?
  6. What is Article 137?

Mains Link:

What is a review petition? What is the procedure to be followed? Discuss.

Sources: the Hindu.

 

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

Overseas Citizens of India (OCI):


Context:

Recently, the High Court of Karnataka held that:

  • Students under the Overseas Citizens of India (OCI) category are to be considered as “citizens of India” for admission to professional courses.

Background:

An appeal was filed by Karnataka state government against the April 2019 single- judge verdict, which had also allowed OCI students to seek admission to professional courses in the regular quota of seats. The state government wants to restrict their admission only under the NRI quota.

Who are OCI cardholders?

  • Government of India launched the ‘Overseas Citizenship of India (OCI) Scheme’ by making amendments to Citizenship Act, 1955 in 2005.
  • On 09 January 2015, the Government of India discontinued the PIO card and merged it with OCI card.

Eligibility:

Government of India allows the following categories of foreign nationals to apply for OCI Card.

eligible

Exceptions:

Anyone who is applying for OCI card should hold a valid Passport of another country.

  • Individuals who do not have citizenship of any other country are not eligible to gain an OCI status.
  • Individuals whose parents or grandparents hold citizenship of Pakistan and Bangladesh are not eligible to apply.

Benefits for OCI cardholders:

  1. Lifelong Visa to visit India multiple times. (special permission needed for research work in India).
  2. No need to register with Foreigners Regional Registration Officer (FRRO) or Foreigners Registration Officer (FRO) for any length of stay.
  3. Except for acquisition of agricultural and plantation properties, OCI card holders have similar facilities that are extended to NRIs in economic, financial and educational fields.
  4. Same treatment as of NRIs in respect to Inter-country adoption of Indian children.
  5. Also treated at par with NRIs regarding – entry fees for national monuments, practice of professions like doctors, dentists, nurses, advocates, architects, Chartered Accountants & Pharmacists.
  6. At par with NRIs to participate in All India Pre-medical tests and such.
  7. Treated at par with Indian citizens in matters of traffic in airfares in Indian domestic sectors.
  8. Same entry fee as for Indians for entry into India’s national parks and wildlife sanctuaries.
  9. OCI booklet can be used as identification to avail services. An affidavit can be attached with local address as residential proof.

There are certain restrictions placed on OCI card holders:

  1. Do not have right to vote.
  2. Do not have right to any public service/government jobs
  3. Cannot hold offices of – Prime Minister, President, Vice -President, Judge of Supreme Court and High Court, member of Parliament or Member of state legislative assembly or council.
  4. Cannot own agricultural property.

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. Definition of Citizen.
  2. POI vs OCI vs NRI.
  3. Who can grant and revoke citizenship?
  4. Dual citizenship in India.
  5. Applicability of right to vote and contest in elections for OCI card holders.
  6. Can OCI holders buy agricultural land?
  7. Who cannot be issued OCI cards?

Mains Link:

Who are overseas citizens of India? What are the benefits available for OCI card holders? Discuss.

Sources: the Hindu.

 

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

Why won’t Gulf NRIs get postal voting rights for now?


Context:

The Election Commission has named a few countries where  it would like to have postal voting introduced for NRIs on a pilot basis.

  • The proposal may get implemented first for voters based in the United States, Canada, New Zealand, Japan, Australia, Germany, France, and South Africa.

What is the current strength of NRI voters?

According to a UN report of 2015, India’s diaspora population is the largest in the world at 16 million people.

  • Registration of NRI voters, in comparison, has been very low: a little over 1 lakh overseas Indians registered as voters in India, according to the EC.
  • In last year’s Lok Sabha elections, roughly 25,000 of them flew to India to vote.
  • Out of 1.18 lakh NRI voters, the largest number — about 89,000 — are registered to vote in Kerala. The second-largest cohort (roughly 7,500) are registered in Andhra Pradesh.

What is the reason behind the EC leaving out the Gulf countries?

Holding a democratic exercise, involving voters queuing outside Indian Missions and Embassies, in non-democratic countries will require permissions, and the host nation may not approve. Given these concerns, the EC, for now, hasn’t included Gulf countries in its proposed pilot.

If approved, how will voting by postal ballots work for NRIs?

  1. The EC has proposed that any NRI interested in voting through the postal ballot in an election will have to inform the Returning Officer (RO) not later than five days after the notification of the election.
  2. On receiving such information, the RO will dispatch the ballot paper electronically.
  3. A designated officer in the Indian mission will download the ballot paper on the voter’s behalf, and hand it over to the overseas elector.
  4. The overseas elector can then mark her preference at the mission, get the self-declaration form attested by the designated officer, and hand back the ballot paper and declaration form in a sealed envelope to the mission.
  5. The mission will then dispatch all the envelopes to the election officer concerned.

What is the current process of voting for Indian citizens living abroad?

  • Voting rights for NRIs were introduced only in 2011, through an amendment to the Representation of the People Act 1950.
  • An NRI can vote in the constituency in which her place of residence, as mentioned in the passport, is located.
  • She can only vote in person and will have to produce her passport in original at the polling station for establishing identity.

no_paints

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. What is Postal ballot?
  2. Who can cast their votes through postal ballot?
  3. How do NRIs cast their votes?
  4. NRIs vs PIOs.
  5. Rights of NRIs.

Mains Link:

Should NRIs be permitted to cast their votes from overseas through postal ballots? Discuss.

Sources: Indian Express.

 

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

What is the S-400 deal? Why is India cautious as US sanctions Turkey?


Context:

The United States has imposed sanctions (Under CAATSA) on Turkey over Ankara’s acquisition of Russian S-400 air defence systems.

 What is the S-400 air defence missile system? Why does India need it?

  • The S-400 Triumf is a mobile, surface-to-air missile system (SAM) designed by Russia.
  • It is the most dangerous operationally deployed modern long-range SAM (MLR SAM) in the world, considered much ahead of the US-developed Terminal High Altitude Area Defense system (THAAD).
  • India’s acquisition is crucial to counter attacks in a two-front war, including even high-end F-35 US fighter aircraft.

What is CAATSA, and how did the S-400 deal fall foul of this Act?

Countering America’s Adversaries through Sanctions Act (CAATSA)‘s core objective is to counter Iran, Russia and North Korea through punitive measures.

  • The Act primarily deals with sanctions on Russian interests such as its oil and gas industry, defence and security sector, and financial institutions, in the backdrop of its military intervention in Ukraine and its alleged meddling in the 2016 US Presidential elections.

But why does the US have a law like CAATSA to begin with?

  • Following the US elections and allegations of Russian meddling some call it collusion in the US elections, the strain between Washington and Moscow has reached a new level.
  • Angry with Moscow’s actions around the world, US lawmakers are hoping to hit Russia where it hurts most, its defense and energy business, through CAATSA.

And what does it mean for India’s defence landscape?

As per the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) Arms Transfer Database, during the period 2010-17, Russia was the top arms supplier to India.

  • Most of India’s weapons are of Soviet/Russian origin – nuclear submarine INS Chakra, the Kilo-class conventional submarine, the supersonic Brahmos cruise missile, the MiG 21/27/29 and Su-30 MKI fighters, IL-76/78 transport planes, T-72 and T-90 tanks, Mi-series of helicopters, and Vikramaditya aircraft carrier
  • Therefore, CAATSA impacts Indo-US ties and dents the image of the US as a reliable partner.

While India has got a waiver from the outgoing Trump administration on the S-400 air defence system, Delhi hopes that the incoming Biden administration would not work towards reversing the decision.

us_vs_russia

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. CAATSA is associated with?
  2. Powers of US president under CAATSA.
  3. Types of sanctions that can be imposed.
  4. Significant defence deals between India and Russia.
  5. Overview of Iran Nuclear deal.

Mains Link:

Discuss the features and significance of CAATSA.

Sources: Indian Express.

 


GS Paper  : 3


 

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

Who are Uighurs?


Context:

Hundreds of thousands of ethnic minority labourers in China’s northwestern Xinjiang region are being forced to pick cotton through a coercive state-run scheme, a report has said.

  • This report is likely to heap more pressure on global brands such as Nike, Gap and Adidas, which have been accused of using Uighur forced labour in their textile supply chains.

Background:

  • Rights activists have said Xinjiang is home to a vast network of extrajudicial internment camps that have imprisoned at least one million people, which China has defended as vocational training centres to counter extremism.

Who are Uighurs?

  • Uighurs are a Muslim minority community concentrated in the country’s northwestern Xinjiang province.
  • They claim closer ethnic ties to Turkey and other central Asian countries than to China, by brute — and brutal — force.

Why is China targeting the Uighurs?

Xinjiang is technically an autonomous region within China — its largest region, rich in minerals, and sharing borders with eight countries, including India, Pakistan, Russia and Afghanistan.

  • Over the past few decades, as economic prosperity has come to Xinjiang, it has brought with it in large numbers the majority Han Chinese,who have cornered the better jobs, and left the Uighurs feeling their livelihoods and identity were under threat.
  • This led to sporadic violence, in 2009 culminating in a riot that killed 200 people, mostly Han Chinese, in the region’s capital Urumqi. And many other violent incidents have taken place since then.
  • Beijing also says Uighur groups want to establish an independent state and, because of the Uighurs’ cultural ties to their neighbours, leaders fear that elements in places like Pakistan may back a separatist movement in Xinjiang.

Therefore, the Chinese policy seems to have been one of treating the entire community as suspect, and launching a systematic project to chip away at every marker of a distinct Uighur identity.

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. Who are Uighurs?
  2. Where is Xinjiang?
  3. Who are Han Chinese?
  4. Indian states bordering Xinjiang province.

Sources: the Hindu.

 

Topics Covered: Security challenges and their management in border areas; linkages of organized crime with terrorism.

Spike in return of people to Bangladesh:


Context:

BSF and NCRB data says:

  1. In the past four years, nearly twice the number of illegal Bangladeshi migrants were caught leaving the country compared to those coming in illegally.
  2. Till December 14 this year, as many as 3,173 illegal migrants were apprehended by the BSF when they were attempting to cross over to Bangladesh, three times more than the 1,115 caught while trying to enter India through illegal means.
  3. In 2019, 2018 and 2017, the numbers of Bangladeshis leaving the country stood at 2,638, 2,971 and 821 respectively, compared to the 1,351, 1,118 and 871 persons respectively who entered illegally.

Reasons behind these migrations:

Another official added that there had been a surge in numbers of illegal Bangladeshis leaving the country due to the lack of work following the COVID-19 pandemic and the subsequent lockdown.

Once caught, what do security agencies do with them?

If they are apprehended, they let them go back. If they are arrested, it leads to lengthy legal procedures and the illegal migrants then have to be placed in a shelter or detention home till their nationality is proved.

Concern:

It is becoming difficult to distinguish between the Rohingya and Bangladeshis and the BSF personnel were not equipped to differentiate between the two on the basis of dialect.

Background:

India and Bangladesh share 4096.7 km. of border, which is the longest land boundary that India shares with any of its neighbours.

The India-Bangladesh Land Boundary Agreement (LBA) came into force following the exchange of instruments of ratification in June 2015.

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. India- Bangladesh border.
  2. India and neighbours- locations.
  3. Bilateral trade between India and Bangladesh.
  4. What is the Land Boundary Agreement?

Mains Link:

Suggest measures to address the cross-border movement of immigrants in India.

Sources: the Hindu.

 


Facts for Prelims:


DakPay:

It is a new digital payment application launched by the Department of Posts and the India Post Payments Bank (IPPB).

  • DakPay is a suite of digital financial and assisted banking services provided through the postal network to cater to the financial needs of various sections of society, particularly those living in rural areas.
  • The services include free-of-cost money receipts and transfers at doorsteps, and scanned QR codes, to make payments for a range of utility and banking services.

About FSDC:

  • The Financial Stability and Development Council (FSDC) was constituted in December, 2010.
  • The FSDC was set up to strengthen and institutionalise the mechanism for maintaining financial stability, enhancing inter-regulatory coordination and promoting financial sector development.
  • It is not a statutory body.
  • The Council is chaired by the Union Finance Minister.

Himalayan serow:

  • Sighted for the first time in the Himalayan cold desert region (Himachal Pradesh).
  • Himalayan serow resembles a cross between a goat, a donkey, a cow, and a pig.
  • It’s a medium-sized mammal with a large head, thick neck, short limbs, long, mule-like ears, and a coat of dark hair.
  • Categorised as ‘vulnerable’ in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.
  • It is listed under Schedule I of The Wildlife Protection Act, 1972, which provides absolute protection.

The_Himalayan_serow

Rashtriya Kamdhenu Aayog:

  • Constituted in 2019, the Aayog is a high powered permanent apex advisory body with the mandate to help the Central Government to develop appropriate programmes for conservation, sustainable development and genetic upgradation of indigenous breeds of cows.
  • It comes under the Ministry of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying.
  • Rashtriya Kamdhenu Aayog will function as an integral part of Rashtriya Gokul Mission.

The Meghdoot award:

It is given every year by the Postal Department for excellence in postal service.


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