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INSIGHTS DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS + PIB SUMMARY- 15 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.

 

Table of Contents:

GS Paper 2:

1. PMKVY 3.0

2. Why Supreme Court’s ruling on farm laws sets a terrible constitutional precedent?

3. What are the new Jharkhand Combined Civil Services Examination Rules, 2021?

 

GS Paper 3:

1. National Innovation Foundation (NIF) – India

2. Why forest fires are common in Himachal Pradesh?

 

Facts for Prelims:

1. ‘Prarambh: Startup India International Summit’

2. India’s first indigenously Developed 9mm Machine Pistol

 


GS Paper  : 2


 

Topics Covered: Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources.

 PMKVY 3.0


Context:

Third phase of Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana (PMKVY 3.0) will be launched soon. It will be launched in 600 districts across all states of India.

  • Spearheaded by the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship (MSDE), this phase will focus on new-age and COVID-related skills.

 About PMKVY 3.0:

Skill India Mission PMKVY 3.0 envisages training of eight lakh candidates over a scheme period of 2020-2021.

  • The 729 Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Kendras (PMKKs), empaneled non-PMKK training centres and more than 200 ITIs under Skill India will be rolling out PMKVY 3.0 training to build a robust pool of skilled professionals.
  • On the basis of the learning gained from PMKVY 1.0 and PMKVY 2.0, the Ministry has improved the newer version of the scheme to match the current policy doctrine and energize the skilling ecosystem affected due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

 About PMKVY:

Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana (PMKVY), launched in 2015, is the flagship scheme of the Ministry of Skill Development & Entrepreneurship (MSDE) implemented by National Skill Development Corporation.

  • The objective of this Skill Certification Scheme: is to enable a large number of Indian youth to take up industry-relevant skill training that will help them in securing a better livelihood.
  • Individuals with prior learning experience or skills will also be assessed and certified under Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL).

 Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana 2.0 (PMKVY 2.0) 2016-20

After the successful implementation of pilot PMKVY (2015-16), PMKVY 2016-20 was launched by scaling up both in terms of Sector and Geography and by greater alignment with other missions of Government of India like Make in India, Digital India, Swachh Bharat, etc.

Objectives of PMKVY 2016-20

Enable and mobilize a large number of youths to take up industry designed quality skill training, become employable and earn their livelihood.

  • Encourage standardisation of the Certification process and put in place the foundation for creating a registry of skills.
  • Benefit 10 million youth over the period of four years (2016- 2020).

 Skill India Mission

Skill India Mission” has gained tremendous momentum through launch of its flagship scheme PMKVY to unlock the vision of making India the ‘Skill Capital’ of the world.

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. What is the Skill India Mission?
  2. PMKVY 1.0 vs PMKVY 2.0 vs PMKVY 3.0
  1. The participants in PMKVY
  2. Implementing agencies.
  3. Key features of the scheme

Mains Link:

Write a note on need and significance of Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana in the backdrop of CORONA Pandemic.

PMKVY_3.0

Source: The Hindu

 

Topics Covered: Separation of powers between various organs, dispute redressal mechanisms and institutions.

Why Supreme Court’s ruling on farm laws sets a terrible constitutional precedent?


Context:

The apex court has suspended the implementation of the farm laws, and created a committee to ascertain the various grievances.

 What’s the issue now?

The judges’ intervention on the laws has been questioned by the Attorney General on three grounds. He also said that a law can be stayed or struck down only on one of these three grounds. These include:

  1. One is that it has been passed without legislative competence.
  2. Two that it is violative of fundamental rights.
  3. Third that it is violative of other provisions of the Constitution.

So, instead of doing a hearing on the substance-: the possible federalism challenge, it has simply decided to create a committee to hear farmers’ grievances and wade into political territory.

Why this might be a dangerous precedent?

  1. It has set a new precedent for putting on hold laws passed by Parliament without substantive hearings on the content of the laws.
  2. It has muddied all the possible lines of judicial procedure, where it is not clear what the locus standi of different counsel are, what are the specific prayers that need to be addressed and how the court’s remedies address them.
  3. It has not really heard the farmers, whose counsel were not fully heard before the passing of orders.
  4. This is a monumental irony since a court whose own procedures seem to be opaque sets itself up as the arbiter of responsive government.

 Conclusion:

The court is, perhaps unintentionally but damagingly, seeking to break the momentum of a social movement.

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. Examples of invocation of Article 142 by the Supreme Court.
  2. Similar powers to High Courts.
  3. Original vs Appellate jurisdictions.
  4. Judicial review of Speaker’s decisions.
  5. What is Judicial activism?
  6. What is Judicial overreach?

Sources: Indian Express.

 

Topics Covered: Role of civil services in a democracy.

What are the new Jharkhand Combined Civil Services Examination Rules, 2021?


Context:

Jharkhand has for the first time framed rules pertaining to Jharkhand Civil Services.

  • This will supersede the Bihar Civil Services (Executive Branch) and the Bihar Junior Civil Services Recruitment Rules of 1951.

Why was the Jharkhand Combined Civil Services Examination Rules, 2021 needed?

At least 204 petitions related to confusion, corruption in the selection process and irregularities among others were filed in the High Court against the Jharkhand Public Service Commission (JPSC) with more than 30 per cent cases pending in the courts.

  • In the last examination, the result of the Prelims examinations was declared thrice due to various reasons.

What do the new rules state?

  1. The cadre-controlling department shall calculate the number of vacancies each year on January 1 with respect to the service to be filled in that particular year by direct recruitment and shall provide requisition for appointment to the Commission after roster clearance through the Department of Personnel, Administrative Reforms and Rajbhasha.
  2. Marks obtained in Main (Written Test) Language Paper which is only qualifying in nature will not be added to the aggregate marks for calculation of percentage of marks, or for preparation of merit list for Main (Interview Test), or for preparation of final merit list.

Rules that experts say may create controversy:

  1. Technically there is no reservation in Prelims.
  2. There is no provision in the news rules for the graduation final year/appearing applicants. The UPSC, however, has a provision.
  3. The request for withdrawal of candidature received from a candidate after he has submitted his application will be not entertained by the Commission.
  4. The number of attempts of candidates may also get affected.

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. Power to create a new all India service.
  2. Powers and functions of State Public Service Commissions.
  3. Who can frame rules for All India Services.
  4. What is a Joint Public Service Commission?

Sources: Indian Express.

 


GS Paper  : 3


 

Topics Covered: Achievements of Indians in science & technology; indigenization of technology and developing new technology, indigenization of technology and developing new technology.

National Innovation Foundation (NIF) – India


Context

Science & Technology minister dedicates an Innovation Portal developed by National Innovation Foundation (NIF) – India to the nation.

 Highlights:

Innovation Portal is developed by National Innovation Foundation (NIF) – India, an autonomous body of the Department of Science and Technology (DST).

  • The National Innovation Portal (NIP) is currently home to about 1.15 lakh innovations scouted from common people of the country, covering Engineering, Agriculture, Veterinary and Human Health.
  • In terms of domain areas, presently the innovations cover Energy, mechanical, automobile, electrical, electronics, household, nutraceuticals etc.

 About National Innovation Foundation (NIF) – India:

It is an autonomous body of the Department of Science and Technology (DST), Government of India.

  • Set up in February 2000 at Ahmedabad, Gujarat to provide institutional support for scouting, spawning, sustaining and scaling up the grassroots innovations across the country.
  • It is India’s national initiative to strengthen the grassroots technological innovations and outstanding traditional knowledge.
  • Its mission is to help India become a creative and knowledge-based society by expanding policy and institutional space for grassroots technological innovators.

 Source: PIB

 

Topics Covered: Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment.

Why forest fires are common in Himachal Pradesh?


Context:

Himachal Pradesh frequently witnesses forest fires during dry weather conditions.

Recently, a forest fire which started near Kullu raged for several days before being brought under control. Forest fires were also reported in Shimla and other parts of the state.

 What is the forest cover of Himachal Pradesh?

Although two-thirds of the total geographical area of Himachal Pradesh is legally classified as forest area, much of this area is permanently under snow, glaciers, cold desert or alpine meadows and is above the tree line.

  • As per the Forest Survey of India, the effective forest cover is around 28 percent of the total area which amounts to 15,434 square kilometres.
  • Chir Pine, Deodar, Oak, Kail, Fir and Spruce are some of the common trees found here.

 How fire prone are these forests?

Except for periods of precipitation in monsoon and winter, the forests remain vulnerable to wildfires.

  • In the summer season, forest fires occur frequently in the low and middle hills of the state, where forests of Chir Pine are common.
  • During the post-monsoon season and in winters, forest fires are also reported in higher areas, including parts of Shimla, Kullu, Chamba, Kangra and Mandi districts, where they usually occur in grasslands.

 Causes of the fire

Natural causes such as lightning or rubbing of dry bamboos with each other can sometimes result in fires, but forest officials maintain that almost all forest fires can be attributed to human factors.

  • Setting up of temporary hearth to cook food by the herdsman and minor forest produce gatherer may leave behind a smouldering fire, it can develop into a forest fire.
  • Also, when people burn their fields to clear them of stubble, dry grass or undergrowth, the fire sometimes spreads to the adjoining forest.
  • A spark can also be produced when dry pine needles or leaves fall on an electric pole.

 What is done to prevent and control forest fires?

To prevent and control forest fires the following can be done:

  1. Forecasting fire-prone days using meteorological data,
  2. Clearing camping sites of dried biomass,
  3. Early burning of dry litter on the forest floor,
  4. Growing strips of fire-hardy plant species within the forest, and
  5. Creating fire lines in the forests are some of the methods to prevent fires (fire lines are strips in the forest kept clear of vegetation to prevent the fire from spreading).

 Way forward:

In 1999, the state government notified forest fire rules which restrict or regulate certain activities in and around forest areas such as lighting a fire, burning agricultural stubble or undergrowth (ghasnis) and stacking inflammable forest produce such as dried leaves and firewood.

For such activities, the state forest department has a fire protection and fire control unit.

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. Forest cover in Himachal Pradesh
  2. Causes of forest fire
  3. Measures to to prevent and control wildfire
  4. Damages done by forest fires
  5. Tree species found in Himachal

Mains Link:

Forest fires are a recurrent annual phenomenon in the state. Discuss.

forest_fier

Source: Indian Express

 


Facts for Prelims:


‘Prarambh: Startup India International Summit’

The Summit is being organized by the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade, Ministry of Commerce and Industry.

  • The Summit marks the fifth anniversary of the Startup India initiative, launched on 16 January, 2016.
  • The Summit will be the largest startup confluence organised by the Government of India since the launch of the Startup India initiative.

India’s first indigenously Developed 9mm Machine Pistol

India’s first indigenous 9mm Machine Pistol has been jointly developed by DRDO and Indian Army. The machine pistol fires the in-service 9mm ammunition and sports an upper receiver made from aircraft grade aluminium and lower receiver from carbon fibre.

  • 3D Printing process has been used in designing and prototyping of various parts including trigger components made by metal 3D printing.
  • The weapon is named “Asmi” meaning “Pride”, “Self-Respect” & “Hard Work”.
  • The weapon has huge potential in Armed forces as personal weapon for heavy weapon detachments, commanders and counter terrorism operations etc.

9mm


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