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INSIGHTS DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS + PIB SUMMARY- 28 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. Lala Lajpat Rai.

2. Village celebrates its newborn daughters.

 

GS Paper 2:

1. DNA Technology (Use and Application) Regulation Bill, 2019.

2. Russia gives nod to extend START treaty.

3. International Energy Agency (IEA).

 

GS Paper 3:

1. Conservationist joins panel on elephant corridor case.

2. Official Secrets Act.

 

Facts for Prelims:

1. Minimum Support Price of Copra.

 


GS Paper  : 1


 

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

Lala Lajpat Rai:


Context:

Remembering the great Lala Lajpat Rai Ji on his Jayanti.

lala_lajpat_rai

His contributions, achievements and related key facts:

  1. Rai is remembered for his role during the Swadeshi movement and for his advocacy of education.
  2. He became a follower of Dayanand Saraswati, the founder of Arya Samaj and went on to become one of the society’s leaders.
  3. He also helped found the Punjab National Bank.
  4. In 1885, Rai established the Dayanand Anglo-Vedic School in Lahore and remained a committed educationist throughout his life.
  5. Rai, Tilak, and Bipin Chandra Pal (called Lal-Bal-Pal) fervently advocated the use of Swadeshi goods and mass agitation in the aftermath of the controversial Partition of Bengal in 1905 by Lord Curzon.
  6. He founded the Indian Home Rule League of America in New York City in 1917.
  7. He was elected President of the Indian National Congress during its Special Session in Kolkata in 1920, which saw the launch of Mahatma Gandhi’s Non-cooperation Movement.
  8. The patriot died at Lahore in 1928 after he was attacked by police during a protest rally against the Simon Commission.
  9. His important works include: ‘The Arya Samaj’, ‘Young India’, ‘England’s Debt to India’, ‘Evolution of Japan’, ‘India’s Will to Freedom’, ‘Message of the Bhagwad Gita’, ‘Political Future of India’, ‘Problem of National Education in India’, ‘The Depressed Glasses’, and the travelogue ‘United States of America’.

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. Who was the Viceroy of India when the partition of Bengal took place?
  2. Objectives of Swadeshi movement.
  3. Key contributions of Lal Bal pal.
  4. Important literary works of Lala Lajpat Rai.

Mains Link:

Discuss the key contributions of Lal Bal Pal to India’s freedom struggle.

Sources: PIB.

 

Topics Covered: Issues related to women.

Village celebrates its newborn daughters:


Context:

Whenever a girl is born, Haridaspur, a remote village in Telangana, celebrates by distributing sweets and lighting lamps.

  • This change in attitude is because of the efforts by panchayat president Md. Shafi and secretary Rohit Kulkarni.

Efforts by the Government:

All girl children in the village are going to have accounts of Sukanya Samriddi Yojana (SSY), a savings scheme being implemented by the Union government.

About Sukanya Samriddhi Yojana:

  • It is a small deposit scheme for the girl child launched as a part of the ‘Beti Bachao Beti Padhao’ campaign.
  • A Sukanya Samriddhi Account can be opened any time after the birth of a girl till she turns 10, with a minimum deposit of Rs 250 (Earlier it was Rs 1,000). In subsequent years, a minimum of Rs 250 and a maximum of Rs 1.5 lakh can be deposited during the ongoing financial year.
  • The account can be opened in any post office or authorised branches of commercial banks.
  • The account will remain operative for 21 years from the date of its opening or till the marriage of the girl after she turns 18.
  • To meet the requirement of her higher education expenses, partial withdrawal of 50% of the balance is allowed after she turns 18.

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. About BBBP.
  2. Objectives.
  3. Implementation.
  4. About SSY.
  5. Eligibility.
  6. Benefits.

Mains Link:

Discuss the significance of SSY.

(Note: Such issues can be used as case studies in ethics as well as GS answers).

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.

DNA Technology (Use and Application) Regulation Bill, 2019:


Context:

Leaders of All India Majlis-e-Ittehad-ul-Muslimeen (AIMIM) and CPI have filed dissent notes to the parliamentary standing committee’s report on the DNA Technology (Use and Application) Regulation Bill, 2019 on the following grounds:

  1. The bill does not take into account their concerns over privacy violations.
  2. If enacted, the Bill will target Dalits, Muslims and Adivasis by way of DNA sample collection and indefinite storage.

What are the main concerns and issues wrt to the bill?

The Bill proposes DNA sampling and profiling of citizens accused of crime or reported missing, and storing their unique genetic information for administrative purposes.

The fear is that:

  1. The law could be used for caste or community-based profiling.
  2. The Bill runs afoul with the standards set in the Puttaswamy and Subramanian Swamy judgments of the Supreme Court.
  3. In the absence of a statutory framework protecting the right to privacy, this Bill will cause irreversible damage to individuals’ right to privacy as well as the criminal justice system.
  4. Without adequate statutory safeguard to protect against the opacity of the law on the sort of information being collected and its unrestricted usage for a variety of purposes this law is susceptible to future misuse and abuse.

Highlights of the Bill:

  1. As per the Bill, national and regional DNA data banks will be set up for maintaining a national database for identification of victims, suspects in cases, undertrials, missing persons and unidentified human remains.
  2. Punishment: Those leaking the DNA profile information to people or entities who are not entitled to have it, will be punished with a jail term of up to three years and a fine of up to Rs. 1 lakh.
  3. Usage: As per the bill, all DNA data, including DNA profiles, DNA samples and records, will only be used for identification of the person and not for “any other purpose”.
  4. The bill’s provisions will enable the cross-matching between persons who have been reported missing on the one hand and unidentified dead bodies found in various parts of the country on the other, and also for establishing the identity of victims in mass disasters.
  5. The Bill establishes a DNA Regulatory Board to accredit the DNA laboratories that analyse DNA samples to establish the identity of an individual.

evidence

 

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. What is DNA?
  2. Differences between DNA and RNA.
  3. What is a gene?
  4. Highlights of DNA Bill.

Mains Link:

The DNA Technology (Use and Application) Regulation Bill is right in intent but bereft of safeguards, can be misutilized. Discuss.

Sources: the Hindu.

 

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

Russia gives nod to extend START treaty:


Context:

US, Russia agree to extend ‘New START’ nuclear arms treaty.

  • The extension of the landmark arms control treaty will continue to limit the number of nuclear missiles and warheads each country can deploy.

nuclear_inventories

Background:

Negotiations to extend the treaty were stalled by the administration of former US President Donald Trump, which insisted on tougher inspections for Russia and for China to be included, which Beijing refused.

About the New START treaty:

  1. The New START (Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty), was signed in 2010 by former US President Barack Obama and his Russian counterpart at the time, Dmitry Medvedev.
  2. The treaty limits each party to 700 deployed intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) or deployed submarine-launched ballistic missiles (SLBMs), 1,550 nuclear warheads on deployed ICBMs and SLBMs, and 800 deployed and non-deployed ICBM launchers.
  3. It also envisions a rigorous inspection regime to verify compliance.

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. About START and New START treaties.
  2. Timelines under New START.
  3. Signatories.
  4. Terms of the treaty.

Mains Link:

Discuss the significance of the New START treaty.

Sources: the Hindu.

 

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

International Energy Agency (IEA):


Context:

India signs Strategic Partnership Agreement with International Energy Agency (IEA).

  • The agreement seeks to strengthen mutual trust and cooperation & enhance global energy security, stability and sustainability.

About IEA:

  • Established in 1974 as per framework of the OECD, IEA is an autonomous intergovernmental organisation.
  • Its mission is guided by four main areas of focus: energy security, economic development, environmental awareness and engagement worldwide.
  • Headquarters (Secretariat): Paris, France.

Roles and functions:

  • Established in the wake of the 1973-1974 oil crisis, to help its members respond to major oil supply disruptions, a role it continues to fulfil today.
  • IEA’s mandate has expanded over time to include tracking and analyzing global key energy trends, promoting sound energy policy, and fostering multinational energy technology cooperation.

Composition and eligibility:

It has 30 members at present. IEA family also includes eight association countries. A candidate country must be a member country of the OECD. But all OECD members are not IEA members.

To become member a candidate country must demonstrate that it has:

  1. Crude oil and/or product reserves equivalent to 90 days of the previous year’s net imports, to which the government has immediate access (even if it does not own them directly) and could be used to address disruptions to global oil supply.
  2. A demand restraint programme to reduce national oil consumption by up to 10%.
  3. Legislation and organisation to operate the Co-ordinated Emergency Response Measures (CERM) on a national basis.
  4. Legislation and measures to ensure that all oil companies under its jurisdiction report information upon request.
  5. Measures in place to ensure the capability of contributing its share of an IEA collective action.

Reports:

  1. Global Energy & CO2 Status Report.
  2. World Energy Outlook.
  3. World Energy Statistics.
  4. World Energy Balances.
  5. Energy Technology Perspectives.

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. Various reports released by IEA.
  2. Composition of OECD and OPEC? Who can become members?
  3. Top crude oil producers and importers globally?
  4. Who are associate members of IEA?
  5. What kind of IEA member is India?

Mains Link:

Write a note on objectives and functions of the International Energy Agency.

Sources: PIB.

 


GS Paper  : 3


 

Topics Covered: Conservation related issues.

Conservationist joins panel on elephant corridor case:


Context:

The Supreme Court has appointed conservationist Nandita Hazarika as Member of a Technical Committee constituted by it on October 14 last year to hear complaints by land owners against the action taken by the Nilgris Collector, which included sealing of their buildings and allegations about the “arbitrary variance in acreage of the elephant corridor.”

What’s the issue?

  • On October 14, the court upheld the Tamil Nadu government’s authority to notify an ‘elephant corridor’ and protect the migratory path of the animals through the Nilgiri biosphere reserve.
  • The court had said it was the State’s duty to protect a “keystone species” such as elephants, immensely important to the environment.

Location of the corridor:

  • The corridor is situated in the ecologically fragile Sigur plateau, which connects the Western and the Eastern Ghats and sustains elephant populations and their genetic diversity.
  • It has the Nilgiri Hills on its southwestern side and the Moyar River Valley on its north-eastern side. The elephants cross the plateau in search of food and water.

elephant_corridors

What are Elephant Corridors?

Elephant corridors are narrow strips of land that connect two large habitats of elephants. Elephant corridors are crucial to reduce animal fatalities due to accidents and other reasons. So fragmentation of forests makes it all the more important to preserve migratory corridors.

Why protect elephant corridors?

  1. The movement of elephants is essential to ensure that their populations are genetically viable. It also helps to regenerate forests on which other species, including tigers, depend.
  2. Nearly 40% of elephant reserves are vulnerable, as they are not within protected parks and sanctuaries. Also, the migration corridors have no specific legal protection.
  3. Forests that have turned into farms and unchecked tourism are blocking animals’ paths. Animals are thus forced to seek alternative routes resulting in increased elephant-human conflict.
  4. Weak regulation of ecotourism is severely impacting important habitats. It particularly affects animals that have large home ranges, like elephants.

Efforts at all- India level:

  • ‘Gaj Yatra’, a nationwide campaign to protect elephants, was launched on the occasion of World Elephant Day in 2017.
  • The campaign is planned to cover 12 elephant range states.
  • The campaign aims to create awareness about elephant corridors to encourage free movement in their habitat.

Forest Ministry guide to managing human-elephant conflict (Best Practices):

  1. Retaining elephants in their natural habitats by creating water sources and management of forest fires.
  2. Elephant Proof trenches in Tamil Nadu.
  3. Hanging fences and rubble walls in Karnataka.
  4. Use of chili smoke in north Bengal and playing the sound of bees or carnivores in Assam.
  5. Use of technology: Individual identification, monitoring of elephants in south Bengal and sending SMS alerts to warn of elephant presence.

Efforts by Private Organizations in this regard:

  • Asian Elephant Alliance, an umbrella initiative by five NGOs, had come together to secure 96 out of the 101 existing corridors used by elephants across 12 States in India.
  • NGOs Elephant Family, International Fund for Animal Welfare, IUCN Netherlands and World Land Trust have teamed up with Wildlife Trust of India’s (WTI) in the alliance.

deadly_passage

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. IUCN conservation status of Asian Elephant.
  2. Elephant corridors in India.
  3. Calving period of elephants.
  4. Heritage animal of India.
  5. About Gaj Yatra.
  6. Elephant herd is led by?
  7. State with highest elephant population in India.

Mains Link:

Discuss the measures suggested by the Environment Ministry to manage man- elephant conflicts.

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.

Official Secrets Act:


Context:

Complaints have been filed with the Mumbai Commissioner of Police demanding action against Republic TV Editor-in-Chief Arnab Goswami under the Official Secrets Act.

Background:

Maharashtra Congress demanded for the arrest of Republic TV’s editor-in-chief Arnab Goswami by registering cases for sedition for leak of sensitive information related to national security through WhatsApp chat.

About the Official Secrets Act:

  • Originally enacted during the time of Lord Curzon, Viceroy of India from 1899 to 1905.
  • One of the main purposes of the Act was to muzzle the voice of nationalist publications.
  • The Act replaced the earlier Act, and was extended to all matters of secrecy and confidentiality in governance in the country.

It broadly deals with two aspects:

  1. Spying or espionage, covered under Section 3.
  2. Disclosure of other secret information of the government, under Section 5.

Is “secret information” defined?

The Act does not say what a “secret” document is. It is the government’s discretion to decide what falls under the ambit of a “secret” document.

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. Overview of Official Secrets Act.
  2. Key provisions.
  3. Ambit of the Act.
  4. Official Secrets Act vs RTI.

Sources: the Hindu.

 


Facts for Prelims:


Minimum Support Price of Copra:

  • Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, chaired by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, has given its approval for the Minimum Support Price (MSP) of copra for 2021 season.
  • The approval is based on recommendations of the Commission for Agricultural Costs and Prices (CACP).
  • The increase in MSP for copra for 2021 season is in line with the principle of fixing the MSP at a level of at least 1.5 times the all India weighted average cost of production which was announced by the Government in the Budget 2018-19.

 

Articles to be covered tomorrow:

  1. A global challenge to deliver vaccine.
  2. SEC censures two IAS officers, A.P. govt. objects.

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