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INSIGHTS DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS + PIB SUMMARY- 22 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 1:

1. Four indigenous martial art forms included in Khelo India Youth Games.

 

GS Paper 2:

1. Mercy plea of Rajiv case convict.

2. U.S. resumes WHO support.

3. Taiwan invited to inauguration in a rare shift.

 

GS Paper 3:

1. RBI sees V-shaped recovery, likely room for policy easing.

2. FB official says he has right to remain silent.

3. AstroSat.

 

Facts for Prelims:

1. Smart cameras to help women in distress.

2. Exercise Kavach.

 


GS Paper  : 1


 

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

Four indigenous martial art forms included in Khelo India Youth Games:


The Khelo India Youth games were launched in 2018 as a multidisciplinary grassroots event for under-17 years and under-21 years.

  • Conducted annually, the best performers are given an annual scholarship of ₹5 lakh for eight years to prepare for international sporting events.

In a recent move, the Sports Ministry inducted four indigenous martial art forms — Kalaripayattu of Kerala, Mallakhamb of Central India, Gatka of Punjab and Thang-ta of Manipur — into the Khelo India Youth Games (KIYG).

What is Mallakhamb?

  • It is a traditional form of gymnastics performed with a wooden pole (made of wood from sheesham or Indian rosewood and polished with castor oil), a cane, or a rope.
  • Though Madhya Pradesh declared Mallakhamb the State sport only in 2013, it had been developed as a competitive sport since 1981, with rules and regulations introduced at the first National Championship that year.

mallakhamba

 Gatka:

It is a style of fighting with wooden sticks that originated in Punjab in the 15th Century. The bana and chola are worn for ritualistic performances but when performed as a sport, the practitioner wears track pants and T-shirt, and the stick is no longer the size of a man.

gatka

 Thang Ta:

  • It is a Manipuri art form.
  • It combines ritual, demonstration and combat and involves a variety of dance forms and warrior drills.

thang_ta

 Kalaripayattu:

  • It is a Martial art which originated as a style in Kerala during 3nd century BC to the 2nd century AD.
  • The word kalari first appears in Sangam literature to describe both a battlefield and combat arena.
  • It is also considered to be one of the oldest fighting system in existence.

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link and Mains Link:

Discuss the key features of: Kalaripayattu of Kerala, Mallakhamb of Central India, Gatka of Punjab and Thang-ta of Manipur.

Sources: the Hindu.

 


GS Paper  : 2


 

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

Mercy plea of Rajiv case convict:


Context:

Tamil Nadu Governor Banwarilal Purohit has told the Supreme Court that a decision on the mercy petition of AG Perarivalan- a convict serving a life sentence for the assassination of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, will be taken within four weeks.

What’s the issue?

The petition has been pending with the Governor since December 30, 2015.

  • Citing inaction on part of the Governor in deciding on his clemency plea moved under Article 161 of the Constitution, Perarivalan has come to Supreme Court for passing necessary directions.

What is Article 161?

seeking_mercy

Article 161 gives the Governor the “power to grant pardons, reprieves, respites or remissions of punishment or to suspend, remit or commute the sentence of any person convicted of any offence against any law relating to a matter to which the executive power of the state extends”.

Article 72 vs Article 161:

The scope of the pardoning power of the President under Article 72 is wider than the pardoning power of the Governor under Article 161.

The power differs in the following two ways:

  1. The power of the President to grant pardon extends in cases where the punishment or sentence is by a Court Martial but Article 161 does not provide any such power to the Governor.
  2. The President can grant pardon in all cases where the sentence given is sentence of death but pardoning power of Governor does not extend to death sentence cases.

Significance of pardoning powers:

  • The pardoning power of Executive is very significant as it corrects the errors of judiciary. It eliminates the effect of conviction without addressing the defendant’s guilt or innocence.
  • Pardon may substantially help in saving an innocent person from being punished due to miscarriage of justice or in cases of doubtful conviction.
  • The object of pardoning power is to correct possible judicial errors, for no human system of judicial administration can be free from imperfections.

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. About Article 161.
  2. Article 72.
  3. Pardoning powers of President vs Governors.
  4. Advice of Cabinet to Governor on such matters.
  5. Interference by Courts- Judicial Review.

Mains Link:

Write a note on the Pardoning powers of the President.

Sources: the Hindu.

 

Topics Covered: Effect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries on India’s interests, Indian diaspora.

U.S. resumes WHO support:


Context:

The U.S. has resumed its funding for WHO as President Joe Biden shifts towards greater international cooperation in the fight against COVID-19.

Background:

Last year, US President Donald Trump had put a hold on America’s funding to the World Health Organization, accusing it of becoming China-centric during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

  • The US is the largest contributor to the WHO.

How is the WHO funded?

There are four kinds of contributions that make up funding for the WHO.These are:

  1. Assessed contributions are the dues countries pay in order to be a member of the Organization. The amount each Member State must pay is calculated relative to the country’s wealth and population.
  2. Voluntary contributions come from Member States (in addition to their assessed contribution) or from other partners. They can range from flexible to highly earmarked.
  3. Core voluntary contributions allow less well-funded activities to benefit from a better flow of resources and ease implementation bottlenecks that arise when immediate financing is lacking.
  4. Pandemic Influenza Preparedness (PIP) Contributions were started in 2011 to improve and strengthen the sharing of influenza viruses with human pandemic potential, and to increase the access of developing countries to vaccines and other pandemic related supplies.

WHO’s current funding pattern:

As of fourth quarter of 2019, total contributions were around $5.62 billion, with assessed contributions accounting for $956 million, specified voluntary contributions $4.38 billion, core voluntary contributions $160 million, and PIP contributions $178 million.

who

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. WHO governance.
  2. Types of contributions in WHO.
  3. Largest contributors.
  4. Significance of World Health Day.

Mains Link:

Discuss the role of WHO in promoting public health and environmental health across the globe.

Sources: the Hindu.

 

Topics Covered: Effect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries on India’s interests, Indian diaspora.

Taiwan invited to inauguration in a rare shift:


Context:

Taiwan’s de facto Ambassador to the U.S. was formally invited to President Joe Biden’s inauguration.

  • Taipei’s Foreign Ministry said it was the first time in decades that a Taiwanese envoy had been “invited” by the inauguration committee.

China- Taiwan relations- Background:

China has claimed Taiwan through its “one China” policy since the Chinese civil war forced the defeated Kuomintang, or Nationalist, to flee to the island in 1949 and has vowed to bring it under Beijing’s rule, by force if necessary.

  • China is Taiwan’s top trading partner, with trade totalling $226 billion in 2018. Taiwan runs a large trade surplus with China.
  • While Taiwan is self-governed and de facto independent, it has never formally declared independence from the mainland.
  • Under the “one country, two systems” formula, Taiwan would have the right to run its own affairs; a similar arrangement is used in Hong Kong.
  • Taiwan is a member of the World Trade Organization, Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation and Asian Development Bank under various names.

Indo- Taiwan relations:

  • Although they do not have formal diplomatic ties, Taiwan and India have been cooperating in various fields.
  • India has refused to endorse the “one-China” policy since 2010.

who

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. Location of Taiwan and its historical background.
  2. Regions being administered by China under One China policy.
  3. Is Taiwan represented at WHO and the United Nations?
  4. Countries in South China Sea.
  5. Qing dynasty.

Mains Link:

Write a note on India- Taiwan bilateral relations.

Sources: the Hindu.

 


GS Paper  : 3


 

Topics Covered: Indian Economy and issues relating to planning, mobilization of resources, growth, development and employment.

RBI sees V-shaped recovery, likely room for policy easing:


Context:

Forecasting a V-shaped recovery, Reserve Bank of India has said that if growth momentum continues and inflation stays benign there would be room for policy action to support growth.

  • This comes at a time when the central bank has started ‘normalising’ the liquidity in the money markets by draining out the surplus it had pumped in to stave off an economic crisis in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.

What are the various Shapes of economic recovery?

  1. The Z-shaped recovery is the most-optimistic scenario in which the economy quickly rises like a phoenix after a crash. It more than makes up for lost ground (think revenge-buying after the lockdowns are lifted) before settling back to the normal trend-line, thus forming a Z-shaped chart.Z-Shaped_Recovery
  2. In V-shaped recovery the economy quickly recoups lost ground and gets back to the normal growth trend-line.V-Shaped_Recovery
  3. A U-shaped recovery is a scenario in which the economy, after falling, struggles and muddles around a low growth rate for some time, before rising gradually to usual levels.U-Shaped_Recovery
  4. A W-shaped recovery is a dangerous creature — growth falls and rises, but falls again before recovering yet again, thus forming a W-like chart.w-Shaped_Recovery
  5. The L-shaped recovery is the worst-case scenario, in which growth after falling, stagnates at low levels and does not recover for a long, long time.L-Shaped_Recovery
  6. The J-shaped recovery is a somewhat unrealistic scenario, in which growth rises sharply from the lows much higher than the trend-line and stays there.other_shapes

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link and Mains Link:

  1. Have a brief overview of various curves mentioned above.

Sources: the Hindu.

 

Topics Covered: Challenges to internal security through communication networks, role of media and social networking sites in internal security challenges, basics of cyber security; money-laundering and its prevention.

FB official says he has right to remain silent:


Context:

Facebook India Head Ajit Mohan recently told the Supreme Court that the summons issued to him by the Delhi Legislative Assembly’s Peace and Harmony Committee, which is probing the Delhi riots of February 2020, was “politically motivated”.

What’s the issue?

  • Invoking his right to silence, Ajit Mohan said he will not appear before the Committee which is examining the role of Facebook in failing to curb hate speech in connection with the riots.
  • He claimed that the inquiry by the Committee will soon evolve into what is hate speech and what is permissible speech, which would be very polarising subjects.

What is Hate Speech?

Hate speech is an incitement to hatred against a particular group of persons marginalized by their religious belief, sexual orientation, gender, and so on.

  • The Law Commission, in its 267th report on hate speech, said such utterances have the potential to provoke individuals and society to commit acts of terrorism, genocide, and ethnic cleansing.

Why Hate Speech must be curbed?

  1. Internal Security: The Muzaffarnagar riots of 2013 was triggered by a fake video that incited communal passions.
  2. Igniting extremist sentiments.
  3. Mob lynching.
  4. Misinformation and disinformation: Delhi Riots.

Measures:

  1. The world’s biggest social media companies, including Facebook, Google, Twitter and ByteDance, are exploring an industry-wide alliance to curb fake news on their platforms in India.
  2. Election Commission of India must tie up with tech companies to identify the creator of such news.
  3. Educating the end-users.
  4. The government should bring out a policy framework on the possible harm due to the internet messaging platforms to engage at a deeper level.
  5. Imposing hefty fines, like in Germany the Social media companies face fines of up to €50m if they persistently fail to remove illegal content from their sites.

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. About Information Technology Act.
  2. Section 66A of the Act.
  3. About the Law Commission of India.
  4. Regulation of Hate speech under IT Act.

Mains Link:

What is Hate speech? How it should be curbed? Discuss.

Sources: the Hindu.

 

Topics Covered: Awareness in Space.

AstroSat:


Context:

AstroSat’s Ultraviolet Imaging Telescope spots rare ultraviolet-bright stars in a massive intriguing cosmic dinosaur in the Milky Way.

AstroSat

Significance of the discovery:

Such UV-bright stars are speculated to be the reason for the ultraviolet radiation coming from old stellar systems such as elliptical galaxies which are devoid of young blue stars. Hence, it is all the more important to observe more such stars to understand their properties.

About AstroSat:

  • AstroSat is India’s first multi-wavelength space telescope, which has five telescopes seeing through different wavelengths simultaneously — visible, near UV, far UV, soft X-ray and hard X-ray.
  • Onboard the AstroSat is a 38-cm wide UltraViolet Imaging Telescope (UVIT), which is capable of imaging in far and near-ultraviolet bands over a wide field of view.
  • AstroSat was launched on 28 September 2015 by ISRO into a near-Earth equatorial orbit.
  • It is a multi-institute collaborative project, involving IUCAA, ISRO, Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (Mumbai), Indian Institute of Astrophysics (Bengaluru), and Physical Research Laboratory (Ahmedabad), among others.

Sources: PIB.

 


Facts for Prelims:


Smart cameras to help women in distress:

The police in the Uttar Pradesh capital are set to install smart cameras in public places that will automatically click the pictures of women in distress situations by reading their facial expressions and alert the nearest police vehicle.

Exercise Kavach:

  • It is a Joint Military exercise involving assets of Indian Army, Indian Navy, Indian Air Force and Indian Coast Guard.
  • It is being conducted in the coming week under the aegis of the Andaman and Nicobar Command (ANC), the only Joint Forces Command of the country.
  • The tri-services exercise aims to fine tune joint war-fighting capabilities and SOPs towards enhancing operational synergy.

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