Print Friendly, PDF & Email

INSIGHTS DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS + PIB SUMMARY- 12 January 2021

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. How a US President can be impeached?

2. Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960.

3. China draws back troops from LAC.

4. India at UN high table.

 

GS Paper 3:

1. PM KISAN.

2. Two flight surgeons for Gaganyaan to train in Russia.

3. UAPA.

 

Facts for Prelims:

1. Dzukou Valley.

 


GS Paper  : 2


 

Topics Covered: Comparison of the Indian constitutional scheme with that of other countries.

How a US President can be impeached?


Context:

Democrats in the House of Republicans introduced an article of impeachment against U.S. President Donald Trump — the “incitement of insurrection” for his role in the attack on the Capitol recently.

What is Impeachment?

Impeachment is a provision that allows Congress to remove the President of the United States.

Under the US Constitution:

  • The House of Representatives (Lower House) has the “the sole power of impeachment” while the Senate (Upper House) has “the sole power to try all impeachments”.
  • The Chief Justice of the US Supreme Court has the duty of presiding over impeachment trials in the Senate.

Grounds for impeachment:

  • The President can be removed from office for “treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors”.
  • Essentially, it means an abuse of power by a high-level public official. This does not necessarily have to be a violation of an ordinary criminal statute.
  • Historically, in the US, it has encompassed corruption and other abuses, including trying to obstruct judicial proceedings..

Stage_By_Stage

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. Elections- US President vs Indian President.
  2. Impeachment.
  3. Powers.

Mains Link:

How a US President is impeached? Discuss.

Sources: the Hindu.

 

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

Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960:


Context:

The Centre has informed the Supreme Court about the 2017 rules under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960, and said that there was a difference between seizure and confiscation of animals, while responding to a petition.

  • The Centre’s response came after last week the court had asked it to amend a rule in the Act pertaining to confiscation of animals before an accused is convicted under the legislation.

What’s the issue?

A plea was filed by Buffalo Traders Welfare Association, challenging the validity of the rules that allow authorities to seize vehicles used in cattle transportation and send the animals to shelters. The petition pointed out that the transporters, farmers and cattle traders were being threatened since the rules were notified.

What has the Centre said?

While seizure is temporary in nature and merely takes possession of property, confiscation amounts to transfer of ownership in the property and is supposed to be carried out only after final adjudication of the rights of the parties in a given case.

Background:

Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Care and Maintenance of Case Property Animals) Rules, 2017:

  • Framed under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960.
  • The Rules allow a Magistrate to forfeit the cattle of an owner facing trial under the Act.
  • The animals are then sent to infirmaries, animal shelters, etc.
  • The authorities can further give such animals for “adoption”.

Concerns expressed by traders:

  • The traders have claimed that they were being forcibly deprived of their cattle which is sent to Gaushalas.
  • These frequent lootings are also threatening the rule of law and generally emboldening groups of persons to take the law into their own hands.
  • Moreover, these incidents are acting as triggers for communal polarisation of society.

Way ahead:

If not halted effectively and immediately, will have disastrous consequences on the social fabric of the country

About the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960:

  • Seeks to “prevent the infliction of unnecessary pain or suffering on animals”.
  • The Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI) was established in 1962 under Section 4 of the Act.
  • This Act provides for punishment for causing unnecessary cruelty and suffering to animals. The Act defines animals and different forms of animals.
  • It provides the guidelines relating to experimentation on animals for scientific purposes.

Sources: the Hindu.

 

Topics Covered: India and its neighbourhood- relations.

China draws back troops from LAC:


Context:

China has withdrawn around 10,000 troops from the depth areas along the disputed boundary in eastern Ladakh while frontline troops continue to remain in position.

Why there is a dispute here?

The Line of Actual Control (LAC) – the line that separates Indian and Chinese troops since 1962 – generally runs along the land except for the width of Pangong Tso. Here, it runs through water.

  • Both sides have marked their areas announcing which side belongs to which country.
  • India controls about 45 km stretch of the Pangong Tso and China the rest.

The lake is divided into sections called fingers:

There are eight of them in contention here. India and China have different understanding of where the LAC passes through.

  • India has maintained that the LAC passes through Finger 8, which has been the site of the final military post of China.
  • India has been patrolling the area – mostly on foot because of the nature of the terrain – up to Finger 8. But Indian forces have not had active control beyond Finger 4.
  • China, on the other hand, says the LAC passes through Finger 2. It has been patrolling up to Finger 4- mostly in light vehicles, and at times up to Finger 2.

Why China wants to encroach areas alongside Pangong Tso?

  • Pangong Tso is strategically crucial as it is very close to Chusul Valley, which was one of the battlefronts between India and China during the 1962 war.
  • China also does not want India to boost its infrastructure anywhere near the LAC. China fears it threatens its occupation of Aksai Chin and Lhasa-Kashgar highway.
  • Any threat to this highway also puts Chinese rather imperialist plans in Pakistan-occupied territories in Ladakh and Jammu and Kashmir, and beyond in Pakistan.

About Pangong Tso:

  • Pangong Tso literally translates into a “conclave lake”.
  • Situated at over 14,000 feet, the Lake is about 135 km long.
  • It is formed from Tethys geosyncline.
  • The Karakoram Mountain range ends at the north bank of Pangong Tso. Its southern bank too has high broken mountains sloping towards Spangur Lake in the south.

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. What is LoC and how is it established, geographical extent and significance?
  2. What is LAC?
  3. Where is Nathu la?
  4. Where is Pangong Tso?
  5. Who administers Akashi Chin?
  6. Where is Naku La?
  7. Who controls what in Pangong Tso lake region?

Mains Link:

Discuss the significance of Pangong Tso for India and China.

Sources: the Hindu.

 

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

India at UN high table:


Context:

India has entered the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) as a non-permanent member and it will stay on the council for two years.

India at UNSC:

  • India has served in the UN Security Council seven times previously.
  • In 1950-51, India presided over the adoption of resolutions calling for cessation of hostilities during the Korean War and for assistance to Republic of Korea.
  • In 1972-73, India pushed strongly for admission of Bangladesh into UN. The resolution was not adopted because of a veto by a permanent member.
  • In 1977-78, India was a strong voice for Africa in the UNSC and spoke against apartheid. Then External Affairs Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee spoke in UNSC for Namibia’s independence in 1978.
  • In 1984-85, India was a leading voice in UNSC for resolution of conflicts in the Middle East, especially Palestine and Lebanon.
  • In 2011-2012, India was a strong vice for developing world, peacekeeping, counter-terrorism and Africa.
  • India chaired the UNSC 1373 Committee concerning Counter-Terrorism, the 1566 Working Group concerning threat to international peace and security by terrorist acts, and Security Council 751/1907 Committee concerning Somalia and Eritrea.

UN REFORMS:

New Delhi has said it is essential that the Security Council is expanded in both the permanent and non-permanent categories.

  • It says India is eminently suited for permanent UNSC membership by any objective criteria, such as population, territorial size, GDP, economic potential, civilisational legacy, cultural diversity, political system and past and ongoing contributions to UN activities especially to UN peacekeeping operations.

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. Name the permanent members of UNSC?
  2. How are non permanent members elected?
  3. Voting powers at UNSC.
  4. How are non permanent seats distributed?
  5. UNGA vs UNSC.

Mains Link:

Discuss why India should be given a permanent seat at the UNSC.

Sources: Indian Express.

 


GS Paper  : 3


 

Topics Covered: Issues related to direct and indirect farm subsidies and minimum support prices; Public Distribution System objectives, functioning, limitations, revamping; issues of buffer stocks and food security; Technology missions.

PM KISAN:


Context:

₹1,364 crore given to wrong beneficiaries of PM-Kisan.

About Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi:

  • It is implemented as a central sector scheme by the Government of India.
  • This scheme was introduced to augment the source of income of many small and marginal farmers.
  • Under the Scheme an amount of Rs.6000/- per year is transferred directly into the bank accounts of the farmers, subject to certain exclusion criteria relating to higher income status.
  • The entire responsibility of identification of beneficiaries rests with the State / UT Governments.

Ambit:

The Scheme initially provided income support to all Small and Marginal Farmers’ families across the country, holding cultivable land upto 2 hectares. Its ambit was later expanded w.e.f. 01.06.2019 to cover all farmer families in the country irrespective of the size of their land holdings.

Exceptions:

Affluent farmers have been excluded from the scheme such as Income Tax payers in last assessment year, professionals like Doctors, Engineers, Lawyers, Chartered Accountants etc and pensioners pensioners drawing at least Rs.10,000/- per month (excluding MTS/Class IV/Group D employees).

Similar programmes by states:

  1. Bhavantar Bhugtan Yojana- MP.
  2. The Rythu Bandhu scheme- Telangana.
  3. Krushak Assistance for Livelihood and Income augmentation (KALIA)- Odisha.

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. PM KISAN- eligibility.
  2. About Bhavantar Bhugtan Yojana.
  3. About Rythu Bandhu scheme.
  4. About KALIA scheme.

Sources: PIB.

 

Topics Covered: Awareness in space.

Two flight surgeons for Gaganyaan to train in Russia:


Context:

Russia will train two flight surgeons from India in space medicine for the Gaganyaan mission.

Flight surgeons are:

  • Doctors from the Indian Air Force who have specialised in aerospace medicine.
  • Responsible for astronauts’ health before, during and after a flight.

Indian Human Space Flight Programme:

ISRO aims to launch its maiden Human Space Mission, Gaganyaan before the 75th anniversary of India’s independence in 2022.

Objectives of the Mission:

  1. Enhancement of science and technology levels in the country
  2. A national project involving several institutes, academia and industry
  3. Improvement of industrial growth
  4. Inspiring youth
  5. Development of technology for social benefits
  6. Improving international collaboration

Relevance of a Manned Space Mission for India:

Boost to industries: The Indian industry will find large opportunities through participation in the highly demanding Space missions. Gaganyaan Mission is expected will source nearly 60% of its equipment from the Indian private sector.

Employment: According to the ISRO chief, the Gaganyaan mission would create 15,000 new employment opportunities, 13,000 of them in private industry and the space organisation would need an additional manpower of 900.

Technological development: Human Space flights are frontier field in the science and technology. The challenges the Human Space Flights provide to India, and the benefits accruing from taking up those missions will be very high and will lead to further thrust for technological developments in India.

Spurs research and development: It will boost good research and technology development. With a large number of researchers with proper equipment involved, HSF will thrust significant research in areas such as materials processing, astro-biology, resources mining, planetary chemistry, planetary orbital calculus and many other areas.

Motivation: Human space flight will provide that inspiration to the youth and also the national public mainstream. It would inspire young generation into notable achievements and enable them to play their legitimate role in challenging future activities.

Prestige: India will be the fourth country to launch human space mission. The Gaganyaan will not only bring about prestige to the nation but also establish India’s role as a key player in the space industry.

Sources: the Hindu.

 

Topics Covered: Role of external state and non-state actors in creating challenges to internal security.

UAPA:


Context:

Peoples Democratic Party leader Waheed Para has been booked under Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA).

About the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act:

Passed in 1967, the law aims at effective prevention of unlawful activities associations in India.

The Act assigns absolute power to the central government, by way of which if the Centre deems an activity as unlawful then it may, by way of an Official Gazette, declare it so.

  • It has death penalty and life imprisonment as highest punishments.

Key points:

Under UAPA, both Indian and foreign nationals can be charged.

  • It will be applicable to the offenders in the same manner, even if crime is committed on a foreign land, outside India.
  • Under the UAPA, the investigating agency can file a charge sheet in maximum 180 days after the arrests and the duration can be extended further after intimating the court.

As per amendments of 2019:

  • The Act empowers the Director General of National Investigation Agency (NIA) to grant approval of seizure or attachment of property when the case is investigated by the said agency.
  • The Act empowers the officers of the NIA, of the rank of Inspector or above, to investigate cases of terrorism in addition to those conducted by the DSP or ACP or above rank officer in the state.
  • It also included the provision of designating an individual as a terrorist.

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. Definition of unlawful activity.
  2. Powers of Centre under the act.
  3. Is judicial review applicable in such cases?
  4. Changes brought about by amendments in 2004 and 2019.
  5. Can foreign nationals be charged under the act?

Mains Link:

Do you agree that the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Amendment Act could prove catastrophic for fundamental rights? Is sacrificing liberty for national security justified? Discuss and provide for your opinion.

Sources: the Hindu.

 


Facts for Prelims:


Dzukou Valley:

Why in News?

The wildfire at Dzukou Valley straddling the Manipur-Nagaland border has been doused after it raged for two weeks.

About Dzukou Valley:

  • Located at the borders of the states of Nagaland and Manipur.
  • Famous for the Dzüko Lily and it is found only in this valley.
  • The Asian Highway 1 and also the NH-2 passes through its foothills.

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