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INSIGHTS DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS + PIB SUMMARY- 26 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. Governor not sending Bills for Presidential assent.

2. J&K Internet ban extended.

3. Ayushman Bharat PM-JAY SEHAT.

4. What is the Opec+?

 

GS Paper 3:

1. Tso Kar Wetland Complex.

 

Facts for Prelims:

1. Tripura govt’s new scheme to offer jobs to next of kin of those lost in political violence.

2. ‘BBX11’ gene.

3. Maharashtra to setup International Sports University.

 


GS Paper  : 2


 

Topics Covered: Appointment to various Constitutional posts, powers, functions and responsibilities of various Constitutional Bodies.

Governor not sending Bills for Presidential assent:


Context:

Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot has said the Amendment Bills passed in the State Assembly last month to counter the Centre’s farm laws were held up in Raj Bhavan, as the Governor was not sending them for Presidential assent.

  • The Union government was not willing to accept that the Bills were in “public interest”, he said.

What does the Constitution of India say on Governor’s power to reserve bills for consideration of the President?

Article 200 of the Indian Constitution deals with the powers of the Governor with regard to assent given to bills passed by the State legislature and other powers of the Governor such as reserving the bill for the President’s consideration.

According to Article 200, when a Bill, passed by the Legislature of a State, is presented to the Governor, he has four options:

  1. He assents to the Bill
  2. He withholds assent
  3. He reserves the Bill for the consideration of the President
  4. He returns the Bill to the Legislature for reconsideration.

Options before the President:

When a Bill is reserved by a Governor for the consideration of the President, the President shall declare either that he assents to the Bill or that he withholds assent therefrom Provided that:

  1. Where the Bill is not a Money Bill, the President may direct the Governor to return the Bill to the House or, as the case may be, the Houses of the Legislature of the State together with such a message as is mentioned in the first proviso to article 200.
  2. When a Bill is so returned, the House or Houses shall reconsider it accordingly within a period of six months from the date of receipt of such message and, if it is again passed by the House or Houses with or without amendment, it shall be presented again to the President for his consideration.
  3. It is not mentioned in the constitution whether it is obligatory on the part of the President to give his assent to such a bill or not.

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. Article 200 of the Indian Constitution.
  2. When can a state bill reserved for President’s consideration?
  3. Options before the President wrt to that bill.
  4. Exceptions under Article 200.
  5. Discretionary powers of Governor.

Sources: the Hindu.

 

Topics Covered: Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.

J&K Internet ban extended:


Context:

The Jammu and Kashmir administration has extended the ban on 4G mobile Internet up to January 8, saying “the restrictions on the high-speed connectivity acted as an impediment to attempts” of the militants to disturb the District Development Council (DDC) polls.

Need for:

An order issued by the Jammu and Kashmir Home Department noted that there were credible inputs about the presence of a large number of militants trying to infiltrate from across the border.

Supreme Court’s ruling in 2020:

Supreme Court on May 11 refused to restore 4G internet in Union Territory of Jammu & Kashmir.

  • But, the Court had ordered the Centre and Jammu and Kashmir administration to form a committee of Secretaries from MHA and J&K UT Admin to take a call after reviewing the ground security situation.
  • The high-powered Committee headed by the MHA Secretary will also look into the contentions raised by various petitioners.

Important observations made and rationale behind this verdict:

  • There is a need to ensure that national security and human rights are balanced. J&K UT has plunged into crisis, but at the same time there are concerns related to ongoing pandemic and hardships.
  • The bench also referred to its earlier decision in the Anuradha Bhasin case (2020) wherein it ordered review of restrictions placed in J&K in the wake of abrogation of Article 370 of the Constitution.

Background- what’s the issue?

  • In August 2019, the Central government had suspended all modes of communications in the wake of revocation of Jammu and Kashmir’s special status, granted under Article 370. Eventually, services were partially restored, with internet speed restricted to 2G.
  • A plea was filed by ‘Foundation for Media Professionals’ for restoration of high-speed internet in Jammu and Kashmir in view of the Covid-19 situation.
  • But, the administration opposed restoration of 4G services in the union territory. It justified its move in view of protecting the sovereignty, integrity and security of the country.

Criticisms against the internet shutdown:

  • Restrictions have virtually abrogated the fundamental rights and paralyzed the lives of seven million people in the region.
  • The shutdown of internet services have severe consequences on business, trade and heavily affect the common people in the region.

What procedure does the government follow to suspend Internet services?

The Information Technology Act, 2000, the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC), 1973 and the Telegraph Act, 1885 are the three laws that deal with suspension of Internet services.

But before 2017, Internet suspension orders were issued under section 144 of the CrPC.

  • In 2017, the central government notified the Temporary Suspension of Telecom Services (Public Emergency or Public Service) Rules under the Telegraph Act to govern suspension of Internet.
  • These Rules derive their powers from Section 5(2) of the Indian Telegraph Act, which talks about interception of messages in the “interests of the sovereignty and integrity of India”.

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. Section 144 of the CrPC.
  2. About Indian Telegraph Act.
  3. Key Provisions of the IT Act 2000.
  4. Anuradha Bhasin case (2020) is related to?
  5. Article 370 of the Constitution.

Mains Link:

Discuss about the various impacts of internet suspension in the UT of Jammu and Kashmir.

Sources: the Hindu.

 

Topics Covered: Issues related to health.

Ayushman Bharat PM-JAY SEHAT:


Context:

PM Modi to launch the Ayushman Bharat Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (AB-PMJAY) SEHAT scheme for the residents of Jammu and Kashmir.

About the Scheme:

  • SEHAT scheme stands for Social, Endeavour for Health and Telemedicine, a health insurance scheme for the Union Territory.
  • The Scheme provides free of cost insurance cover to all the residents of the UT of J&K.
  • It provides financial cover up to Rs.5 Lakh per family on a floater basis to all residents of the UT of J&K.
  • It provides for an operational extension of PM-JAY to 15 lakh (approximately) additional families.

About PM- JAY:

  • The PM-JAY, world’s largest health insurance/assurance scheme fully financed by the government, provides a cover of Rs 500,000 per family per year for secondary and tertiary care hospitalisation across public and private empanelled hospitals in India.
  • The benefit of Rs 5,00,000 is on a family floater basis, which means that it can be used by one or all members of the family.
  • It covers medical procedures such as oncology, cardiology, nephrology etc and up to three days of pre-hospitalisation and 15 days post-hospitalisation expenses such as diagnostics and medicines are also included in the scheme.

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. Components of Ayushman Bharat.
  2. PMJAY- Key features.
  3. Eligibility.
  4. About the National Health Agency.
  5. SEHAT scheme.

Mains Link:

Discuss the significance and potential of PMJAY.

Sources: PIB.

 

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

What is the Opec+?


Context:

Russia expects to support an increase in oil production by OPEC+, of another 500,000 barrels per day (bpd) from February at next month’s summit of the leading global oil producers.

Background:

Russia, other leading oil producers and the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, a group known as OPEC+, agreed to reduce output to support the global oil market as the COVID-19 pandemic has weakened fuel demand.

  • Since the agreement on a record global supply cut in April, OPEC+ has progressively reduced the cuts and is expected in January to release an extra 5,00,000 bpd into the market.

What is the Opec+?

  • Opec+ refers to the alliance of crude producers, who have been undertaking corrections in supply in the oil markets since 2017.
  • OPEC plus countries include Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Brunei, Kazakhstan, Malaysia, Mexico, Oman, Russia, South Sudan and Sudan.

OPEC_1

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. Founder members of OPEC.
  2. Top oil producers?
  3. India’s crude oil imports?
  4. Components and refining of crude oil.
  5. Crude oil storage facilities in India?
  6. Geographical location of OPEC members.
  7. Type of Crude oil produced by OPEC and non-OPEC members.
  8. What is OPEC+?

Mains Link:

How groups, such as OPEC, influence oil prices across the world? Discuss.

Sources: the Hindu.

 


GS Paper  : 3


 

Topics Covered: Conservation related issues.

Tso Kar Wetland Complex:


Context:

India now has forty-two Ramsar sites with the addition of Ladakh’s Tso Kar wetland.

About Tso Kar:

  • Tso Kar Basin is a high-altitude wetland complex, consisting of two principal waterbodies, Startsapuk Tso, a freshwater lake and Tso Kar itself, a hyper saline lake, situated in the Changthang region of Ladakh, India.
  • It is called Tso Kar, meaning white lake, because of the white salt efflorescence found on the margins due to the evaporation of highly saline water.
  • It is also an Important Bird Area (IBA) as per BirdLife International and a key staging site in the Central Asian Flyway.

Important bird species found in the area:

Black-necked Crane (Grus nigricollis), Great Crested Grebe (Podicepscristatus), Bar-headed Geese (Anserindicus), Ruddy Shelduck (Tadornaferruginea), Brown-headed Gull (Larusbrunnicephalus), Lesser Sand-Plover (Charadriusmongolus) and many other species.

About Ramsar convention:

  • It is an international treaty for the conservation and wise use of wetlands.
  • It is named after the Iranian city of Ramsar, on the Caspian Sea, where the treaty was signed on 2 February 1971.
  • Known officially as ‘the Convention on Wetlands of International Importance especially as Waterfowl Habitat’ (or, more recently, just ‘the Convention on Wetlands’), it came into force in 1975.

Montreux Record:

Montreux Record under the Convention is a register of wetland sites on the List of Wetlands of International Importance where changes in ecological character have occurred, are occurring, or are likely to occur as a result of technological developments, pollution or other human interference.

It is maintained as part of the Ramsar List.

The Montreux Record was established by Recommendation of the Conference of the Contracting Parties (1990).

  • Sites may be added to and removed from the Record only with the approval of the Contracting Parties in which they lie.

Currently, two wetlands of India are in Montreux record: Keoladeo National Park (Rajasthan) and Loktak Lake (Manipur).

Chilka lake (Odisha)was placed in the record but was later removed from it.

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. About Ramsar convention.
  2. About Montreux record.
  3. Wetlands in India covered under the convention.
  4. About Tso Kar basin.
  5. Important bird species found in the area.
  6. About Central Asian Flyway.

Sources: PIB.

 


Facts for Prelims:


Tripura govt’s new scheme to offer jobs to next of kin of those lost in political violence:

  • Under the New scheme, the state cabinet has decided to provide government jobs to the next of kin of those who lost their lives in political violence till March 2018.
  • Under the scheme, government jobs will be provided to any one member of such families, provided they meet a set of requisite criteria.

‘BBX11’ gene:

  • It is a gene that facilitates in the greening of plants by playing a crucial role in regulating the levels of protochlorophyllide — an intermediate in the biosynthesis of the green pigment chlorophyll.
  • Identified recently by Researchers at the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER).

Maharashtra to setup International Sports University:

  • Cabinet has approved a draft bill for the constitution of an international sports university in the state.
  • It will be setup in Pune.

The university will offer various courses, including physical and sports education, sports science and sports medicine, sports technology, sports governance, sports management, sports media and communication, and sports coaching and training.

 

Articles to be covered on Monday:

  1. First set of data from Chandrayaan-2 released: ISRO.

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