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INSIGHTS DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS + PIB SUMMARY- 9 February 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 2:

1. Motion of thanks to President’s Address.

2. UN Human Rights Council.

 

GS Paper 3:

1. Assam Chah Bagichar Dhan Puraskar Mela Scheme.

2. What is Einsteinium?

3. NITI Aayog study to track economic impact of green verdicts.

4. Eco sensitive zones (ESZ).

 

GS Paper 4:

1. Modi sees ‘andolan jeevi’ and a new kind of ‘FDI’.

 

Facts for Prelims:

1. Brookesia nana.

2. Vijayanagara becomes Karnataka’s 31st district.

3. Sri Lanka clears Chinese energy project, 50 km off Tamil Nadu.

 


GS Paper  : 2


 

Topics Covered: Parliament and State Legislatures – structure, functioning, conduct of business, powers & privileges and issues arising out of these.

Motion of thanks to President’s Address:


Context:

As many as 50 speakers from 25 political parties participated in the debate in Rajya Sabha on the Motion of Thanks lasting over three days.

What is “Motion of Thanks” and what it contains?

The President makes an address to a joint sitting of Parliament at the start of the Budget session, which is prepared by the government and lists its achievements.

The address is followed by a motion of thanks moved in each House by ruling party MPs. During the session, political parties discuss the motion of thanks also suggesting amendments.

Amendments to the “Motion of Thanks”:

  • Notices of amendments to Motion of Thanks on the President’s Address can be tabled after the President has delivered his Address.
  • Amendments may refer to matters contained in the Address as well as to matters, in the opinion of the member, the Address has failed to mention.
  • Amendments can be moved to the Motion of Thanks in such form as may be considered appropriate by the Speaker.

Limitations:

The only limitations are that members cannot refer to matters which are not the direct responsibility of the Central Government and that the name of the President cannot be brought in during the debate since the Government and not the President is responsible for the contents of the Address.

Provisions governing them:

President’s Address and Motion of Thanks are governed by Articles 86 (1) and 87 (1) of the Constitution and Rules 16 to 24 of the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in Lok Sabha.

Its passage:

  • Members of Parliament vote on this motion of thanks. This motion must be passed in both of the houses.
  • A failure to get motion of thanks passed amounts to defeat of government and leads to collapse of government. This is why the Motion of Thanks is deemed to be a no-confidence motion.

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. What is Motion of Thanks?
  2. Amendments.
  3. Its passage.
  4. Provisions governing them.

Mains Link:

What is Motion of Thanks? Discuss its significance.

Sources: the Hindu.

 

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

UN Human Rights Council:


Context:

The U.S. has announced plans to reengage with the UN Human Rights Council that former President Donald Trump withdrew from almost three years ago.

About UNHRC:

UNHRC was reconstituted from its predecessor organisation, the UN Commission on Human Rights to help overcome the “credibility deficit” of the previous organisation.

  • Headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland.

Composition:

  • The UNHRC has 47 members serving at any time with elections held to fill up seats every year, based on allocations to regions across the world to ensure geographical representation.
  • Each elected member serves for a term of three years.
  • Countries are disallowed from occupying a seat for more than two consecutive terms.

Functions:

  • The UNHRC passes non-binding resolutions on human rights issues through a periodic review of all 193 UN member states called the Universal Periodic Review (UPR).
  • It oversees expert investigation of violations in specific countries (Special Procedures).

Challenges and Need for reforms:

  • The human rights record of the member-states such as Saudi Arabia, China and Russia in the council has also not been in line with the aims and mission of the UNHRC, which has led to critics questioning its relevance.
  • Despite the continued participation of several western countries in the UNHRC, they continue to harbour misgivings on the understanding of Human rights.
  • Non-compliance has been a serious issue with respect to the UNHRC’s functioning.
  • Non-participation of powerful nations such as the US.

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. About UNHRC.
  2. Composition.
  3. Functions.
  4. What is Universal Periodic Review?
  5. Headquarters of UNHRC.
  6. Countries which recently left UNHRC.

Sources: the Hindu.

 


GS Paper  : 3


 

Topics Covered: Major crops cropping patterns in various parts of the country.

Assam Chah Bagichar Dhan Puraskar Mela Scheme:


Context:

The third phase of Chah Bagicha Dhan Puraskar mela is set to be held in Guwahati was held recently.

About the Scheme:

  • Started by the Assam government in the year 2017- 18.
  • Launched to encourage people to open bank accounts in tea garden areas.
  • Under this scheme, the workers of the tea community will receive Rs. 2500 in their bank accounts.

Eligibility:

  1. Residents of Assam and who work on tea gardens.
  2. Women belonging to BPL category.

Tea production in India:

India accounts for 14% of global tea exports and nearly 20% of the tea produced in the country is exported, according to Tea Board India.

India is:

  1. The largest consumer of tea in the world.
  2. The second largest producer of tea in the world.
  3. The fourth largest exporter of tea in the world.

Places where tea is grown in India:

Tea cultivation and plantation is practiced in Assam, Darjeeling, Nilgiri Hills of South India and Tarai along the foothills of the Himalayas.

Conditions of Growth:

Climate: Tea is a tropical and sub-tropical plant and grows well in hot and humid climate.

Temperature: 20°-30°C.

Rainfall: 150-300 cm annual rainfall.

Soil: Slightly acidic soil with porous sub-soil which permits a free percolation of water.

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. About Tea.
  2. Climatic conditions for its growth.
  3. Distribution of tea in India.
  4. Tea import and export in India.
  5. Largest producer of tea in India and the world.

Sources: PIB.

 

Topics Covered: Science and Technology- developments and their applications and effects in everyday life Achievements of Indians in science & technology; indigenization of technology and developing new technology.

What is Einsteinium?


Context:

With a new study published in the journal Nature last week, for the first time, researchers have been able to characterise some of the properties of Einsteinium.

What is Einsteinium?

Named after Einstein, it was discovered in 1952 in the debris of the first hydrogen bomb (the detonation of a thermonuclear device called “Ivy Mike” in the Pacific Ocean).

  • Ivy Mike was detonated on November 1, 1952 as part of a test at a remote island location called Elugelab on the Eniwetok Atoll in the South Pacific.

Properties:

  • It is difficult to create and is highly radioactive.
  • The most common isotope of the element, einsteinium 253 has a half-life of 20 days.
  • Einsteinium-254 is one of the more stable isotopes of the element that has a half-life of 276 days.
  • The element is also not visible to the naked eye and after it was discovered, it took over nine years to manufacture enough of it so that it could be seen with the naked eye.
  • Because of its high radioactivity and short half-life of all einsteinium isotopes, even if the element was present on Earth during its formation, it has most certainly decayed.

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. What is Einsteinium?
  2. Properties.
  3. When was it discovered?
  4. What is Ivy Mike?

Mains Link:

Write a note on Einsteinium.

Sources: Indian Express.

 

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

NITI Aayog study to track economic impact of green verdicts:


Context:

The NITI Aayog has commissioned a study that seeks to examine the “unintended economic consequences” of judicial decisions that have hindered and stalled big-ticket projects on environmental grounds.

  • The study is to be undertaken by the Jaipur-headquartered CUTS (Consumer Unity and Trust Society) Centre for Competition, Investment and Economic Regulation, that also has an international presence.

What are the usual consequences of such decisions?

Judgments that negatively impact major infrastructure projects don’t adequately consider the economic fallout — in terms of loss of jobs, revenue.

Focus of the study:

  • It intends to examine five major projects that have been “impacted” by judicial decisions of the Supreme Court or the National Green Tribunal.
  • It plans to do this by interviewing people who’ve been affected by the closure of the projects, environmental campaigners, experts and assessing the business impact of closure.

The five projects are:

  1. Construction of an airport in Mopa, Goa.
  2. Cessation of iron ore mining in Goa.
  3. The shutting down of the Sterlite copper plant in Thoothukudi, Tamil Nadu.
  4. Decision by the NGT involving sand mining in the Delhi National Capital Regions.
  5. Decision by NGT involving construction activities in the Delhi National Capital Regions.

Need of the hour:

The judiciary needs to take into account environment, equity and economic considerations while deciding cases, and needs to institutionalise a mechanism for it.

Sources: PIB.

 

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

Ecosensitive zones (ESZ):


Context:

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has sought the intervention of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to allay the apprehension of the people in Wayanad over the recent draft notification of the Ministry of Environment, Forest, and Climate Change (MoEFCC) that envisages a buffer zone around the Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary (WWS).

What’s the issue?

  • The present draft issued by the MOEFCC notifies 118.59 sq km around the WWS as ESZ.
  • But, Kerala wants ESZ measuring 88.2 sq km around the WWS. The government is of the view that densely populated areas should be excluded while notifying ESZs.

What are the concerns?

  • Such a move would badly affect the lives of thousands of farmers on the fringes of the sanctuary spread over six villages under Mananthavady and Sulthan Bathery taluks.
  • All development in eco-sensitive zones, including construction of roads and houses, would be affected and farmers would not be able to cut trees they had planted on their land without the permission of forest officials.

Rationale behind declaring it as an ESZ:

The lives of farmers on the forest fringes has become miserable owing to the increasing incidents of wild animal attacks.

About the Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary:

  1. The sanctuary is a component of the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve (5,520 sq km) and is a vital component of the Elephant Reserve No. 7 of South India.
  2. It is the only sanctuary of Kerala where sighting of four-horned antelope has been reported.
  3. Presence of Egyptian vulture, Himalayan griffon, and Cinereous vultures are also reported in the sanctuary and the two species of vultures, red-headed and white-backed vultures, once common in Kerala, are now restricted to the Wayanad plateau.
  4. The Nagarhole-Bandipur-Mudumalai-Wayanad forest complex is also one of the most important tiger habitats in the country. Recent estimation of tigers, using camera traps, has indicated the presence of 79 tigers in the sanctuary.
  5. The forests of the wildlife division form the major catchments for the tributaries of the Kabani river system.

What are the Eco-sensitive Zones (ESZs)?

  1. Eco-Sensitive Zones (ESZs) or Ecologically Fragile Areas (EFAs) are areas notified by the MoEFCC around Protected Areas, National Parks and Wildlife Sanctuaries.
  2. The purpose of declaring ESZs is to create some kind of “shock absorbers” to the protected areas by regulating and managing the activities around such areas.
  3. They also act as a transition zone from areas of high protection to areas involving lesser protection.
  4. The Environment (Protection) Act, 1986 does not mention the word “Eco-Sensitive Zones”.
  5. An ESZ could go up to 10 kilometres around a protected area as provided in the Wildlife Conservation Strategy, 2002.
  6. Moreover, in the case where sensitive corridors, connectivity and ecologically important patches, crucial for landscape linkage, are beyond 10 km width, these should be included in the ESZs.

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. How an eco-sensitive zone is declared?
  2. How is it declared?
  3. Boundaries.
  4. About Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary.
  5. About Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve.

Mains Link:

Discuss the need for eco sensitive zones around the protected areas.

Sources: the Hindu.

 


GS Paper  : 4


 

Modi sees ‘andolan jeevi’ and a new kind of ‘FDI’:


Prime Minister Narendra Modi recently coined two terms:

  1. ‘Andolan jeevi’ (professional protesters).
  2. ‘Foreign Destructive Ideology’.

These words were to lampoon the Opposition and certain protesters and foreign individuals who have tweeted in support of the farmers’ agitation.

What did the PM say?

A new kind of FDI had emerged in the country and it was “Foreign Destructive Ideology”. “We need to be more aware to save the country from such an ideology.”

Background:

Recently international pop star Rihanna shared a news article of the ongoing farmers agitation on Twitter, asking why it wasn’t discussed enough. This prompted the government to issue a press statement saying it was “unfortunate to see vested interest groups trying to enforce their agenda on these protests, and derail them.”

Sources: the Hindu.

 


Facts for Prelims:


Brookesia nana:

  • It is a recently discovered chameleon from the island country of Madagascar.
  • It may be the world’s smallest adult reptile.
  • The male has a total length of 21.6 mm. The female is slightly longer at 28.9 mm.
  • Previously, the chameleon species Brookesia micra was thought to be the smallest.

Vijayanagara becomes Karnataka’s 31st district:

Karnataka has got its 31st district with the State government issuing an official gazette notification carving out Vijayanagara district from the mine-rich Ballari district.

Sri Lanka clears Chinese energy project, 50 km off Tamil Nadu:

  • Sri Lanka has cleared a Chinese energy project in three islands off Jaffna peninsula that are barely 50 km from the Tamil Nadu coast.
  • The proposal seeks to involve Sinosoar-Etechwin Joint Venture in China to install ‘hybrid renewable energy systems’ in Nainativu, Delft or Neduntheevu, and Analaitivu, located in the Palk Bay.
  • The islands are connected to the Jaffna peninsula by a limited ferry service, managed mostly by the Sri Lankan Navy.

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