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INSIGHTS DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS + PIB SUMMARY- 30 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. Patharughat: The forgotten peasant uprising of Assam in 1894.

 

GS Paper 2:

1. Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs).

2. PM-JAY.

3. NCAVES India Forum 2021.

 

GS Paper 3:

1. Pakistan Gets Geographical Indicator Tag For Basmati Rice.

2. Cryptocurrency and Regulation of Official Digital Currency Bill, 2021.

 

Facts for Prelims:

1. National Marine Turtle Action Plan.

2. The ‘Top 25’ drive initiated by Mumbai police.

 


GS Paper  : 1


 

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

Patharughat: The forgotten peasant uprising of Assam in 1894:


Context:

Patharughat peasant uprising took place on January 28, 1894 in Assam.

  • The unarmed peasants were protesting against the increase in land revenue levied by the colonial administration, when the military opened fire.

What led to the Patharughat uprising?

  • After the British annexation of Assam in 1826, surveys of the vast lands of the state began. On the basis of such surveys, the British began to impose land taxes, much to the resentment of the farmers.
  • In 1893, the British government decided to increase agricultural land tax reportedly by 70- 80 per cent. Up until then the peasants would pay taxes in kind or provide a service in lieu of cash.
  • In Patharughat, despite these gatherings being democratic, the British perceived them as “breeding grounds for sedition” and opened fire.

Why was the incident significant?

For the larger Assamese community, Patharughat comes second only to the Battle of Saraighat, when the Ahoms defeated the Mughals in 1671.

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. About the battle.
  2. Causes.
  3. Outcomes.
  4. About the battle of Saraighat.

Mains Link:

Discuss the significance of Battle of Saraighat.

Sources: Indian Express

 


GS Paper  : 2


 

Topics Covered: Issues related to health.

Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs):


Context:

India has joined the world to Light Up Qutub Minar as a sign of unity to combat the Neglected Tropical Diseases.

  • The second annual World NTD Day will be marked on 30th January.

Why are some tropical diseases called “neglected”?

The people who are most affected by these diseases are often the poorest populations, living in remote, rural areas, urban slums or conflict zones. Neglected tropical diseases persist under conditions of poverty and are concentrated almost exclusively in impoverished populations in the developing world.

Challenges and concerns:

  1. Lacking a strong political voice, people affected by these tropical diseases have a low profile and status in public health priorities.
  2. Lack of reliable statistics and unpronounceable names of diseases have all hampered efforts to bring them out of the shadows.
  3. Neglected tropical diseases affect more than 1 billion people, primarily poor populations living in tropical and subtropical climates.
  4. They are frequently clustered together geographically and individuals are often afflicted with more than one parasite or infection.
  5. More than 70% of countries and territories that report the presence of neglected tropical diseases are low-income or lower middle-income economies.

Spread:

Infections are caused by unsafe water, poor housing conditions and poor sanitation.

Children are the most vulnerable to these diseases, which kill, impair or permanently disable millions of people every year, often resulting in life-long physical pain and social stigmatization.

Policies on neglected diseases research in India:

  • The National Health Policy (2017)sets an ambition to stimulate innovation to meet health needs and ensure that new drugs are affordable for those who need them most, but it does not specifically tackle neglected diseases.
  • The National Policy on Treatment of Rare Diseases (2018)includes infectious tropical diseases and identifies a need to support research on treatments for rare diseases. It has not yet prioritised diseases and areas for research funding or how innovation would be supported.

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. What are neglected tropical diseases?
  2. Difference between Protozoa, bacteria and viruses?
  3. Why this disease is called the “silent and silenced disease”?
  4. What is World Health Assembly?

Mains Link:

Write a note on Neglected Tropical Diseases.

Sources: the Hindu.

 

Topics Covered: Issues related to health.

PM-JAY:


Context:

As per the latest economic survey:

  • The Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (PM-JAY) contributed to improvement in many health outcomes in States that implemented the programme.
  • States that joined the PM-JAY, compared to those that did not, experienced greater penetration of health insurance, reduction in infant and child mortality rates, realised improved access and utilisation of family planning services and greater awareness of HIV/AIDS.
  • Across all the States, the proportion of households with health insurance increased by 54% for States that implemented PM-JAY while falling by 10% in States that did not.

Key Features of PM-JAY:

  1. The world’s largest health insurance/ assurance scheme fully financed by the government.
  2. It provides cover of 5 lakhs per family per year, for secondary and tertiary care hospitalization across public and private empaneled hospitals in India.
  3. Coverage: Over 10.74 crore poor and vulnerable entitled families (approximately 50 crore beneficiaries) are eligible for these benefits.
  4. Provides cashless access to health care services for the beneficiary at the point of service.

Eligibility:

  • No restrictions on family size, age or gender.
  • All pre–existing conditions are covered from day one.
  • Covers up to 3 days of pre-hospitalization and 15 days post-hospitalization expenses such as diagnostics and medicines.
  • Benefits of the scheme are portable across the country.
  • Services include approximately 1,393 procedures covering all the costs related to treatment, including but not limited to drugs, supplies, diagnostic services, physician’s fees, room charges, surgeon charges, OT and ICU charges etc.
  • Public hospitals are reimbursed for the healthcare services at par with the private hospitals.

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. Components of Ayushman Bharat.
  2. PMJAY- Key features.
  3. Eligibility.
  4. About the National Health Agency.

Mains Link:

Discuss the significance and potential of PMJAY.

Sources: the Hindu.

 

Topics Covered: Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests.

NCAVES India Forum 2021:


Context:

Organised by the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation (MoSPI).

What is it?

Natural Capital Accounting and Valuation of the Ecosystem Services (NCAVES) India Forum-2021 is a part of NCAVES project of United Nations Statistics Division (UNSD).

  • It aims to help five countries for addressing the concerns of sustainability and conserving the environment for future use while charting the course for economic development.
  • India is one of the five countries taking part in this project – the other countries being Brazil, China, South Africa and Mexico.

NCAVES project:

  • The project seeks to advance the theory and practice of environmental and ecosystem accounting in Brazil, China, India, Mexico and South Africa.
  • The project has been jointly implemented by the United Nations Statistics Division (UNSD), the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the Secretariat of the Convention of Biological Diversity (CBD).
  • It aims to assist the five participating partner countries, to advance the knowledge agenda on environmental-economic accounting, in particular ecosystem accounting.
  • The project will have a duration until the end of 2021.

Significance:

  • The participation in the project has helped MOSPI commence the compilation of the Environment Accounts as per the UN-SEEA framework.
  • The MOSPI has also released environmental accounts in its publication “EnviStats India” on an annual basis since 2018.
  • Several of these accounts are closely related to the social and economic attributes, making them a useful tool for the Policy.

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. About NCAVES project.
  2. Participants.
  3. Objectives.
  4. What is EnviStats India?
  5. About UNEP.

Mains Link:

Discuss the significance of NCAVES project.

Sources: PIB.

 


GS Paper  : 3


 

Topics Covered: IP related issues.

Pakistan Gets Geographical Indicator Tag For Basmati Rice:


Context:

Pakistan has received the Geographical Indicator (GI) tag for its Basmati, paving the way for creating a local registry for the particular strain of rice and making a case in the international market.

Why India is concerned?

Laws require that before applying for registration of any product in the international market it has to be protected under the geographical indication laws of that country.

  • And Pakistan is fighting a case in the 27-member European Union against India’s move to get Basmati rice registered as its product.

Implications:

It is believed that a GI tag would strengthen Pakistan’s case in the EU. The issue of protecting Basmati rice as a product of Pakistan came to the forefront after India submitted an application to the European Union claiming sole ownership of the commodity in September last year.

Background:

In May 2010, GI status was given to basmati grown in Punjab, Haryana, Delhi, Himachal Pradesh, Uttrakhand and parts of western Uttar Pradesh and Jammu & Kashmir.

About GI tag:

A GI is primarily an agricultural, natural or a manufactured product (handicrafts and industrial goods) originating from a definite geographical territory.

  • Typically, such a name conveys an assurance of quality and distinctiveness, which is essentially attributable to the place of its origin.

What are the benefits?

Once the GI protection is granted, no other producer can misuse the name to market similar products. It also provides comfort to customers about the authenticity of that product.

Who is a registered proprietor of a geographical indication?

  • Any association of persons, producers,organisation or authority established by or under the law can be a registered proprietor.
  • Their name should be entered in the Register of Geographical Indication as registered proprietor for the Geographical Indication applied for.

How long the registration of Geographical Indication is valid?

  • The registration of a geographical indication is valid for a period of 10 years.
  • It can be renewed from time to time for further period of 10 years each.

Who accords and regulates Geographical Indications?

At the International level: Geographical Indications are covered as a component of intellectual property rights (IPRs) under the Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property. GI is also governed by the World Trade Organisation’s (WTO’s) Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS).

In India, Geographical Indications registration is administered by the Geographical Indications of Goods (Registration and Protection) Act, 1999 which came into force with effect from September 2003. The first product in India to be accorded with GI tag was Darjeeling tea in the year 2004-05.

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. What is GI tag?
  2. Who grants?
  3. GI products in India and their geographical locations.
  4. Other IPRs.
  5. What is EU? Various institutions under it.

Mains Link:

What is a Geographical Indication (GI) tag? Discuss it’s significance.

Sources: Indian Express.

 

Topics Covered: Awareness in the fields of IT, Space, Computers, robotics, nano-technology, bio-technology and issues relating to intellectual property rights.

Cryptocurrency and Regulation of Official Digital Currency Bill, 2021:


Context:

The Budget session of Parliament is likely to consider this bill, which prohibits all private cryptocurrencies and provides for an official digital currency to be issued by the Reserve Bank of India.

The purpose of the law has been described as:

  1. to create a facilitative framework for an official digital currency issued by the RBI.
  2. to “prohibit all private cryptocurrencies in India”.

The Bill also seeks to prohibit all private cryptocurrencies in India, however, it allows for certain exceptions to promote the underlying technology of cryptocurrency and its uses.

Background:

The Supreme Court, last year, set aside an April 6, 2018, circular of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) that prohibited banks and entities regulated by it from providing services in relation to virtual currencies (VCs).

What did the Court say?

  1. RBI has not come out with a stand that any of the entities regulated by it namely, nationalised banks/scheduled commercial banks/cooperative banks/NBFCs, have suffered any loss or adverse effect directly or indirectly, on account of virtual currencies (VCs)
  2. Hence, the RBI circular is “disproportionate” with an otherwise consistent stand taken by the central bank that VCs were not prohibited in the country.
  3. Besides, the court found that the RBI did not consider the availability of alternatives before issuing the circular.
  4. Besides, the court referred to the Centre’s failure to introduce an official digital rupee despite two draft Bills and several committees.

What are Cryptocurrencies?

Cryptocurrencies are digital currencies in which encryption techniques are used to regulate the generation of units of currency and verify the transfer of funds, operating independently of a central bank.

Examples: Bitcoin, Ethereum etc.

block_chain

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. Various cryptocurrencies.
  2. Cryptocurrencies launched by various countries.
  3. What is Blockchain technology?

Mains Link:

What are Cryptocurrencies? Why there is a need for regulation? Discuss.

Sources: Indian Express.

 


Facts for Prelims:


National Marine Turtle Action Plan:

Context:

The Ministry of Environment Forest and Climate Change (MoEF&CC) has released ‘Marine Mega Fauna Stranding Guidelines’ and ‘National Marine Turtle Action Plan’.

  • The documents contain ways and means to promote inter-sectoral action for conservation.

The ‘Top 25’ drive initiated by Mumbai police:

  • The Mumbai police have started a drive titled ‘Top 25’ aimed at keeping under check history-sheeters and those they believe could foment trouble.
  • All 95 police stations in the city will make a list of the “top 25” criminal elements in their jurisdictions, and ask them to sign a bond of good behaviour failing which they would have to pay a fine.

 

Note:

Articles related to Economic Survey will be covered separately with additional inputs shortly.


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