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INSIGHTS DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS + PIB SUMMARY- 29 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. ‘Adopt a Heritage’ project.

 

GS Paper 2:

1. Dhaka moves Rohingya refugees to barren island.

2. China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).

 

GS Paper 3:

1. National Common Mobility Card (NCMC).

2. International Blue Flag hoisted at 8 beaches across the Country.

 

Facts for Prelims:

1. 100th Kisan Rail.

2. India’s first-ever driverless train.

3. Paray Samadhan.

4. ‘My Stamp’ scheme.

5. Assam tables Bill to make madrasas regular schools.

6. Pedalandariki Illu.

 


GS Paper  : 1


 

Topics Covered: Indian culture will cover the salient aspects of Art Forms, Literature and Architecture from ancient to modern times.

‘Adopt a Heritage’ project:


Context:

So far, under the project, 27 Memorandum of Understandings (MoUs) have been awarded to 12 Monument Mitras for twenty-five (25) sites and two (2) Technological interventions across India.

Adopt a Heritage Project:

The Scheme was launched on World Tourism Day i.e. 27th September, 2017.

  • This project is a key initiative of Ministry of Tourism in close collaboration with Ministry of Culture and Archeological Survey of India (ASI), to develop the heritage sites / monuments and making them tourist-friendly to enhance the tourism potential and their cultural importance in a planned and phased manner.

How it works?

The project plans to entrust heritage sites/monuments and other tourist sites to private sector companies, public sector companies and individuals for the development of tourist amenities. The project aims to develop synergy among all partners.

Who are Monument Mitras?

Successful bidders selected for adopting heritage sites / monuments by the Oversight and Vision Committee shall be called as Monument Mitras. The basic and advanced amenities of the tourist destinations would be provided by them.

  • They would also look after the operations and the maintenance of the amenities. The ‘Monument Mitras’ would associate pride with their CSR activities.

Significance of this project:

Adopt a Heritage project is meant to address the challenges that the Archaeological Survey of India and other government bodies are facing in operating tourism infrastructure at heritage sites.

  • By allowing private players to build, operate and maintain “tourist-friendly” and “world class amenities at these sites, the expectation is that the project will boost domestic and international tourism.

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. About the Project.
  2. When was it launched?
  3. Run by?
  4. Important heritage sites covered.
  5. Who are Monument Mitra’s?

Mains Link:

Discuss the significance of the scheme.

Sources: PIB.

 


GS Paper  : 2


 

Topics Covered: India and its neighbourhood- relations.

Dhaka moves refugees to Bhashan Char island:


Context:

Bangladesh has started moving Rohingya refugees to a controversial flood-prone Bhashan Char island in the Bay of Bengal despite opposition from rights activists.

What’s the concern?

The island was formed from a build-up of silt in the Bay of Bengal only 20 years ago, and concerns have been consistently raised about Bhasan Char’s exposure to extreme weather and distance from the mainland in emergencies since Bangladesh first raised the idea in 2015.

Who are Rohingyas?

  • They are an Ethnic group, mostly Muslims. They were not granted full citizenship by Myanmar.
  • They were classified as “resident foreigners or associate citizens”.
  • Ethnically they are much closer to Indo-Aryan people of India and Bangladesh than to the Sino-Tibetans of the Country.

Described by UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres as “one of, if not the, most discriminated people in the world”.

Where are they now?

  • About 860,000 Rohingya live in the world’s largest and most densely populated refugee camp in southern Bangladesh.
  • The Myanmar and Bangladesh governments continue to negotiate terms for the repatriation of Rohingya refugees to Myanmar.
  • According to the Ministry of Home Affairs, there are approximately 40,000 Rohingyas living in India.

bhasan

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. Who are Rohingyas?
  2. Location of Rakhine State.
  3. About the International Court of Justice.
  4. ICJ vs International Criminal Court.

Mains Link:

Write a note on Rohingya Crisis.

Sources: the Hindu.

 

Topics Covered: India and its neighbourhood- relations.

China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC):


Context:

China defends progress of Pak. corridor and rejects reports of seeking additional guarantees from Islamabad before sanctioning a loan for CPEC.

About CPEC:

The CPEC is the flagship project of the multi-billion-dollar Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), a pet project of Chinese President Xi Jinping, aimed at enhancing Beijing’s influence around the world through China-funded infrastructure projects.

  • The 3,000 km-long China–Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) consists of highways, railways, and pipelines.
  • CPEC eventually aims at linking the city of Gwadar in South Western Pakistan to China’s North Western region Xinjiang through a vast network of highways and railways.
  • The proposed project will be financed by heavily-subsidised loans, that will be disbursed to the Government of Pakistan by Chinese banks.

But, why is India concerned?

It passes through PoK.

  • CPEC rests on a Chinese plan to secure and shorten its supply lines through Gwadar with an enhanced presence in the Indian Ocean. Hence, it is widely believed that upon CPEC’s fruition, an extensive Chinese presence will undermine India’s influence in the Indian Ocean.
  • It is also being contended that if CPEC were to successfully transform the Pakistan economy that could be a “red rag” for India which will remain at the receiving end of a wealthier and stronger Pakistan.
  • Besides, India shares a great deal of trust deficit with China and Pakistan and has a history of conflict with both. As a result, even though suggestions to re-approach the project pragmatically have been made, no advocate has overruled the principle strands of contention that continue to mar India’s equations with China and Pakistan.

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. What is CPEC?
  2. What is BRI initiative?
  3. What is string of pearls initiative?
  4. Where Gilgit- Baltistan?
  5. Important ports in Pakistan and Iran.

Mains Link:

Discuss India’s concerns on the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) framework. Suggest how India should tackle the challenges posed by this alliance?

Sources: the Hindu.

 


GS Paper  : 3


 

Topics Covered: Infrastructure.

National Common Mobility Card (NCMC):.


Context:

National Common Mobility Card expanded to the Airport Express Line of Delhi Metro, which was started in Ahmedabad last year.

Key features:

  • Dubbed as ‘One Nation One Card’, the inter-operable transport card would allow the holders to pay for their bus travel, toll taxes, parking charges, retail shopping and even withdraw money.
  • The idea was floated by the Nandan Nilekani committee set up by the Reserve Bank of India.

 How it works?

NCMC is an automatic fare collection system. It will turn smartphones into an inter-operable transport card that commuters can use eventually to pay for Metro, bus and suburban railways services.

  • This card runs on RuPay card.
  • The stored value on card supports offline transaction across all travel needs with minimal financial risk to involved stakeholders.
  • Ministry of housing & urban affairs brought to the fore the National Common Mobility Card (NCMC) to enable seamless travel by different metros and other transport systems across the country besides retail shopping and purchases.

Need for and significance of NCMC:

Public transport is extensively used across India as the economical and convenient mode of commuting for all classes of society. Cash continues to be the most preferred mode of fare payments across the public transport.

  • However, there are multiple challenges associated with the cash payment such as cash handling, revenue leakages, cash reconciliation etc.
  • Various initiatives have been taken by transit operators to automate and digitize the fare collection using Automatic Fare Collection System (AFC).
  • The introduction of closed loop cards issued by these operators helped to digitize the fare collection to a significant extent. However, the restricted usability of these payment instruments limits the digital adoption by customers.

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. What is NCMC?
  2. Recommended by?
  3. What is RuPay platform?
  4. Services included under NCMC.

Mains Link:

Discuss the significance of NCMC.

Sources: PIB.

 

Topics Covered: Conservation and Pollution related issues.

International Blue Flag hoisted at 8 beaches across the Country:


Context:

The beaches where the International Blue Flags were hoisted are: Kappad (Kerala), Shivrajpur (Gujarat), Ghoghla (Diu), Kasarkod and Padubidri (Karnataka), Rushikonda (Andhra Pradesh), Golden (Odisha) and Radhanagar (Andaman & Nicobar Islands).

  • India had secured the International Blue Flag Certification for these 8 beaches on 6th October 2020, when an International Jury comprising of member organizations UNEP, UNWTO, UNESCO, IUCN, ILS, FEE etc. announced the award at Copenhagen, Denmark.

About Blue flag programme:

The Blue Flag Programme for beaches and marinas is run by the international, non-governmental, non-profit organisation FEE (the Foundation for Environmental Education).

  • It started in France in 1985 and has been implemented in Europe since 1987, and in areas outside Europe since 2001, when South Africa joined.

What is a Blue Flag beach?

It is an ‘eco-tourism model’ and marks out beaches as providing tourists and beachgoers clean and hygienic bathing water, facilities/amenities, a safe and healthy environment, and sustainable development of the area.

Criteria:

There are nearly 33 criteria that must be met to qualify for a Blue Flag certification, such as the water meeting certain quality standards, having waste disposal facilities, being disabled- friendly, have first aid equipment, and no access to pets in the main areas of the beach. Some criteria are voluntary and some compulsory.

Relevant facts for Prelims:

  • Spain tops the list with more than 560 such beaches; Greece and France follow.
  • India is now in the league of 50 “BLUE FLAG” countries.

Is Blue Flag certification available only for beaches?

No. It can be given to a beach, marina, or sustainable boating tourism operator.

  • Basically, the Blue Flag is a trademark.

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. About Blue Flag certification.
  2. Programme implemented by?
  3. Announced by?
  4. India’s and Asia’s first beach to get this certificate.
  5. Country having highest number of blue flag beaches.

Mains Link:

Write a note on the Blue flag programme.

Sources: PIB.

 


Facts for Prelims:


100th Kisan Rail:

  • 100th Kisan Rail from Sangola in Maharashtra to Shalimar in West Bengal was recently flagged off.
  • The ‘Kisan Rail’ services initiative will help small and marginal farmers, who are over 80 per cent of the peasantry, in supplying their produce to far-off markets. This will also help boost the income of farmers.
  • 100 Kisan Rails were launched in the last 4 months.

India’s first-ever driverless train:

  • PM inaugurates India’s first-ever driverless train operations on Delhi Metro’s Magenta Line.
  • These trains are mostly remotely controlled from the command rooms of the DMRC known as Operations Control Centre (OCC), from where teams of engineers track and monitor in real time train movement across the DMRC network.

Paray Samadhan:

  • It is a new grievance redressal mechanism launched recently by West Bengal.
  • Paray Samadhan means redressal in the neighbourhood.
  • This will not address major infrastructural gaps but will address municipal, local or service gaps through specific mission mode to reach out to the neighbourhood.
  • This will be supplementary of ‘Duare Sarkar’.

Duare Sarkar is an initiative of the state government, spread over 60 days, for delivery of specific schemes of the state government at the doorsteps of the people through outreach camps organized at the level of gram panchayat and municipal ward level.

‘My Stamp’ scheme:

  • Run by India Post for personalised sheets of postage stamps.
  • Under the scheme, any person may submit soft or hard copies of their photographs or of that of their relatives or friends or any other image including logo, symbols, heritage places or wildlife to get them printed and published on stamps.
  • Each stamp sheet would cost the applicant ₹300.

Why in News?

Stamps bearing photographs of many antisocial elements were issued under ‘My Stamp’ scheme. Postal Department says it was a mistake and begins enquiry.

Assam tables Bill to make madrasas regular schools:

  • The bill seeks to convert the State-run madrasas into general educational institutes from the next fiscal.
  • The Bill proposed to convert the madrasas into upper primary, high and higher secondary schools with no change of status and pay, allowances and service conditions of the teaching and the non-teaching staff.

Pedalandariki Illu:

The Andhra Pradesh government has launched the housing-sites distribution exercise under the ‘Pedalandariki Illu’ (houses for all the poor) scheme.

  • The scheme is expected to provide low-cost housing for an estimated 30.6 lakh people in the state.

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