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INSIGHTS DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS + PIB SUMMARY- 21 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 1:

1. Veer Savarkar.

 

GS Paper 2:

1. Supreme Court dismisses Aadhaar review petitions.

2. Karnataka Prevention of Slaughter and Preservation of Cattle Ordinance, 2020.

 

GS Paper 3:

1. SC upholds IBC’s Section 32A: Why is it important, what are the implications?

2. India Innovation Index by NITI Aayog.

 

Facts for Prelims:

1. Kamalam.

2. Houthi.

3. What Is the Secured Overnight Financing Rate (SOFR)?

4. Tripura CM promoting the Risa.

5. New US President.

6. Angiogenesis.

 


GS Paper  : 1


 

Topics Covered: Modern Indian history from about the middle of the eighteenth century until the present- significant events, personalities, issues.

Veer Savarkar:


Context:

An MLC in Uttar Pradesh has demanded that the portrait of Hindu Mahasabha leader Vinayak Damodar Savarkar be removed from the picture gallery of the State Legislative Council saying that the installation of his frame next to those of freedom fighters amounted to an “insult” to them. This has stirred controversy in the state.

Who is Veer Savarkar?

Born on May 28, 1883 in Bhagur, a city in Maharashtra’s Nashik.

Nationalism and social reforms:

  • Formed a youth organization- Mitra Mela, this organization was put into place to bring in national and revolutionary ideas.
  • He was against foreign goods and propagated the idea of Swadeshi.
  • He championed atheism and rationality and also disapproved orthodox Hindu belief. In fact, he even dismissed cow worship as superstitious.
  • Vinayak Savarkar was a president of Hindu Mahasabha from 1937 to 1943.
  • When congress ministries offered resignation on 22nd oct 1939, Hindu mahaasabha under his leadership cooperated with Muslim league to form government in provinces like Sindh, Bengal and NWFP.
  • In Pune, Savarkar founded the “Abhinav Bharat Society”.
  • He joined Tilak’s Swaraj Party.
  • He founded the Free India Society. The Society celebrated important dates on the Indian calendar including festivals, freedom movement landmarks, and was dedicated to furthering discussion about Indian freedom.
  • He believed and advocated the use of arms to free India from the British and created a network of Indians in England, equipped with weapons.

Important works:

  1. Book- The History of the war of Indian Independence.
  2. An armed revolt against the Morley-Minto reform.
  3. Two-nation theory in his book ‘Hindutva’.

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. Who founded Mitra mela, Abhinav Bharat Society and Free India society, what are the objectives?
  2. Books written by Savarkar?
  3. Savarkar’s book which was published by Madam Bikaji Cama?
  4. Morley- Minto reforms- key changes.
  5. Savarkar’s views on use of arms to free India.
  6. Hindu Mahasabha- key achievements.

Mains Link:

Discuss Veer Savarkar’s contributions to social reforms in the country.

Sources: the Hindu.

 


GS Paper  : 2


 

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

Supreme Court dismisses Aadhaar review petitions:


Context:

The Supreme Court, in a majority view, has dismissed a series of petitions seeking a review of its 2018 judgment upholding the Lok Sabha Speaker’s certification of Aadhaar law as a Money Bill and its subsequent passage in Parliament.

Background:

The Aadhaar Bill had been certified by the government as a money Bill, enabling it to get it cleared without getting the assent of a majority in the Rajya Sabha. A five-judge Bench headed by then Chief Justice Dipak Misra had upheld the Aadhaar Act in a 4:1 ruling on September 26, 2018.

Aadhar Bill as Money Bill:

Section 7 of Aadhaar Act provided that the expenditure for subsidy, services or benefits under welfare schemes would be met from the Consolidated Fund of India. Because of this, the bill was qualified to be categorised as a money bill.

What’s the issue?

Following the Supreme Court judgement, petitions were filed on two issues. These include:

  1. Whether the Speaker’s decision to declare a proposed law as Money Bill was “final” and cannot be challenged in court.
  2. Whether the Aadhaar (Targeted Delivery of Financial and Other Subsidies, Benefits and Services) Act, 2016 was correctly certified as a ‘Money Bill’ under Article 110 (1) of the Constitution.

What has the Court said?

  1. Speaker’s decision could be challenged in court only under “certain circumstances”.
  2. The Aadhaar Act was rightly called a Money Bill.

What is a Money Bill?

  • A Money Bill is one that contains provisions for taxes, appropriation of funds etc.
  • Money Bills can be introduced only in the Lok Sabha, and the Rajya Sabha cannot make amendments to such bills passed by the Lok Sabha.
  • The Rajya Sabha can suggest amendments, but it is the Lok Sabha’s choice to accept or reject them.
  • Under Article 110(1), a Bill is deemed to be a money Bill if it deals only with matters specified in Article 110 (1) (a) to (g) — taxation, borrowing by the government and appropriation of money from the Consolidated Fund of India among others.
  • According to Article 110 (3) of the Constitution, “if any question arises whether a Bill is a Money Bill or not, the decision of the Speaker of the House of the People thereon shall be final.”

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. What is a money bill?
  2. What is a finance bill?
  3. Power of Speaker in this regard.
  4. Article 110 (1) (a) to (g).
  5. Powers of Rajya Sabha wrt Money Bills.

Mains Link:

The Supreme Court finds a pragmatic middle path between the Aadhaar scheme excesses and its benefits to the marginalised. Analyze.

Sources: the Hindu.

 

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

Karnataka Prevention of Slaughter and Preservation of Cattle Ordinance, 2020:


Context:

Karnataka government has given an undertaking to the High Court that no coercive action will be initiated for transporting cattle in breach of the Cattle Ordinance, 2020 till the relevant rules are brought into force based on the draft rules notified recently.

What’s the issue?

The court is hearing PIL petitions challenging the constitutional validity of the Ordinance promulgated recently.

  • The government is yet to frame rules prescribing manner of cattle transportation.
  • There have been apprehensions about likely prosecution of farmers for transporting cattle within the State even for the exemption granted for bonafide agriculture and animal husbandry.

Controversial Provisions:

Who has the power to conduct searches?

  • Police officers ranked sub-inspector and above or a competent authority will have the power to search premises and seize cattle and materials used or intended to use to commit the offence.
  • Such seizures, if any, will then be reported before the Sub Divisional Magistrate without unreasonable delay.

What are the penalties?

  • It is a cognizable offence, violators can attract three to seven years of imprisonment.
  • While a penalty between Rs 50,000 and Rs 5 lakh can be levied for the first offence, second and subsequent offences can attract penalties ranging between Rs 1 lakh and Rs 10 lakh.

milk

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. Key features of the Bill.
  2. Similar laws by other states.
  3. India’s milk production and consumption.
  4. White revolution- features and impacts.

Mains Link:

Discuss the rationale behind and implications of such laws.

Sources: the Hindu.

 


GS Paper  : 3


 

Topics Covered: Effects of liberalization on the economy, changes in industrial policy and their effects on industrial growth.

SC upholds IBC’s Section 32A: Why is it important, what are the implications?


Context:

SC has upheld section 32A of Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC).

What did the Supreme Court say in its judgment?

In its judgment, the apex court, while upholding the validity of Section 32 A of IBC, said

  1. It was important for the IBC to attract bidders who would offer reasonable and fair value for the corporate debtor to ensure the timely completion of corporate insolvency resolution process (CIRP).
  2. Such bidders, however, must also be granted protection from any misdeeds of the past since they had nothing to do with it.
  3. Such protection, the court said, must also extend to the assets of a corporate debtor, which form a crucial attraction for potential bidders and helps them in assessing and placing a fair bid for the company, which, in turn, will help banks clean up their books of bad loans.

What is Section 32A?

  • Section 32A provides that Corporate Debtor shall not be prosecuted for an offence committed prior to commencement of Corporate Insolvency Resolution Process (CIRP) once Resolution Plan has been approved by Adjudicating Authority (AA).
  • The section further provides that no action shall be taken against property of Corporate Debtor covered under such a Resolution Plan.

What’s the issue then?

32A continues to hold liable every person who was a ‘designated partner’ or an ‘officer who is in default’ or was in any manner in-charge of, or responsible to Corporate Debtor for conduct of its business or associated in any manner and who was directly or indirectly involved in commission of such offence.

Why is the SC upholding Section 32A important?

  • With the Supreme Court upholding the validity of Section 32 A, the cases such as that of Bhushan Power are expected to be completed soon.
  • Experts also said that this will give confidence to other bidders to proceed with confidence while bidding on such disputed companies and their assets.

Sources: Indian Express.

 

Topics Covered: Effects of liberalization on the economy, changes in industrial policy and their effects on industrial growth.

India Innovation Index by NITI Aayog:


Context:

Second edition of the NITI Aayog’s India Innovation Index has been released.

Performance of various states:

  1. Karnataka is the most innovative state for the second year in a row.
  2. Maharashtra pipped Tamil Nadu to the second spot.
  3. Bihar was featured at the bottom of the list.

About the index:

The index attempts to create an extensive framework for the continual evaluation of the innovation environment of states and union territories in India and intends to perform the following three functions:

  • Ranking of states and UTs based on their index scores.
  • Recognizing opportunities and challenges.
  • Assisting in tailoring governmental policies to foster innovation.

best_performance

The Index is calculated as the average of the scores of its two dimensions – Enablers and Performance.

  1. The Enablers are the factors that underpin innovative capacities, grouped in five pillars: (1) Human Capital, (2) Investment, (3) Knowledge Workers, (4) Business Environment, and (5) Safety and Legal Environment.
  2. The Performance dimension captures benefits that a nation derives from the inputs, divided in two pillars: (6) Knowledge Output and (7) Knowledge Diffusion.

Significance of the index:

India has a unique opportunity among its myriad challenges to become the innovation leader in the world. Cluster-based innovation should be leveraged upon as the focal point of competitiveness.

  • The index is a great beginning to improve the environment of innovation in the country as it focuses on both the input and output components of the idea.
  • The index is a good effort to benchmark the performance of the state with each other and promote competitive federalism.

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. About the Global Innovation Index.
  2. About NITI Aayog Innovation Index.
  3. Performance of various states.
  4. Parameters for ranking.

Mains Link:

Write a note on the Global Innovation Index.

Sources: PIB.

 


Facts for Prelims:


Kamalam:

  • The Gujarat government has decided to rename the dragon fruit as ‘kamalam’.
  • The word ‘kamalam’ is a Sanskrit word and the shape of the fruit does resemble the lotus flower.

Houthi:

U.S. to review Houthi terrorist label.

  • The Houthis were formed by Zaidite scholars, a Shia sect who have lived in Yemen for over a thousand years and also ruled the country for several centuries.
  • Their rebellion against the Saudi-backed government began about a decade ago.

What Is the Secured Overnight Financing Rate (SOFR)?

SBI does deals using SOFR as benchmark.

  • SOFR is a secured interbank overnight interest rate and reference rate.
  • It is based on the Treasury repurchase market (repo), Treasuries loaned or borrowed overnight.

Tripura CM promoting the Risa:

  • Risa is a customary hand woven cloth used by Tripura’s indigenous tribal communities.
  • It is one of the three parts of customary Tripura female attire, the other two being the Rignai and Rikutu.
  • The Risa is used as a head gear, stole and female upper cloth or presented to honour a distinguished recipient.

New US President:

  • Joe Biden recently took oath as 46th US President and Kamala Harris as 49th Vice President.
  • Biden will be the oldest president in American history.
  • Harris will be the first female, and first Indian American vice president of the United States.
  • A newly elected or re-elected president of the United States begins their four-year term of office at noon on the twentieth day of January following the election.
  • While the Constitution does not mandate that anyone in particular should administer the presidential oath of office, it has been administered by the Chief Justice.

Angiogenesis:

Context:

Researchers are working to develop transgenic zebrafish model by the use of the CRISPR/Cas9 gene-editing tool to further study the compensatory angiogenesis mechanism in the tumour microenvironment.

  • Angiogenesis is the physiological process through which new blood vessels form from pre-existing vessels, formed in the earlier stage of vasculogenesis.
  • It is a normal and vital process in growth and development, as well as in wound healing and in the formation of granulation tissue.
  • However, it is also a fundamental step in the transition of tumours from a benign state to a malignant one. Deregulation of angiogenesis is the main reason for tumour growth and progression.

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