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INSIGHTS DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS + PIB SUMMARY- 16 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. Geospatial data policy liberalised.

2. Elderly abuse a growing concern in India, shows LASI.

3. Rohingya Crisis.

4. Nigeria’s Okonjo-Iweala appointed WTO head.

 

GS Paper 3:

1. Disha Ravi case: What is a toolkit that has brought activists under the lens?

 

Facts for Prelims:

1. Giant Leatherback turtle.

2. Maa Centeens.

3. What is Sandes?

4. Maharaja Suheldev.

5. Odisha’s Karlapat Sanctuary.

 


GS Paper  :  2


 

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

Geospatial data policy liberalised:


Context:

The Ministry of Science and Technology has released new guidelines for the Geo-spatial sector in India, which deregulates existing protocol and liberalises the sector to a more competitive field.

Under the new guidelines:

  • The sector will be deregulated and aspects such as prior approvals for surveying, mapping and building applications based on that have been done away with.
  • For Indian entities, there will be complete deregulation with no prior approvals, security clearances and licences for the acquisition and production of geospatial data and geospatial data services, including maps.

Benefits:

  • It will help boost innovation in the sector and create a level playing field for public and private entities.
  • The easing of norms will greatly help in several sectors that were suffering because of non-availability of high-quality maps.
  • The move will unlock tremendous opportunities for the country’s start-ups, private sector, public sector, and research institutions, to drive innovations and build scalable solutions.
  • It will also generate employment and accelerate economic growth.
  • India’s farmers will also be benefited by leveraging the potential of geospatial and remote sensing data.
  • The deregulation eliminates the requirement of permissions as well as scrutiny, even for security concerns.

What is geo-spatial data?

  1. Geospatial data is data about objects, events, or phenomena that have a location on the surface of the earth.
  2. The location may be static in the short-term, like the location of a road, an earthquake event or dynamic like a moving vehicle or pedestrian, the spread of an infectious disease.
  3. Geospatial data combines location information, attribute information (the characteristics of the object, event, or phenomena concerned), and often also temporal information or the time at which the location and attributes exist.

Applications:

  1. Geo-spatial data usually involves information of public interest such as roads, localities, rail lines, water bodies, and public amenities.
  2. The past decade has seen an increase in the use of geo-spatial data in daily life with various apps such as food delivery apps like Swiggy or Zomato, e-commerce like Amazon or even weather apps.

What is the present policy on geo-spatial data?

  • There are strict restrictions on the collection, storage, use, sale, dissemination of geo-spatial data and mapping under the current regime.
  • The policy had not been renewed in decades and has been driven by internal as well as external security concerns.

The sector so far is dominated by the Indian government as well as government-run agencies such as the Survey of India and private companies need to navigate a system of permissions from different departments of the government (depending on the kind of data to be created) as well as the defence and Home Ministries, to be able to collect, create or disseminate geo-spatial data.

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. What is geo- spatial data?
  2. Applications.
  3. Policy on geo- spatial data.
  4. Recent changes.

Mains Link:

Discuss the applications of geo- spatial data.

Sources: the Hindu.

 

Topics Covered: Welfare schemes for vulnerable sections of the population by the Centre and States and the performance of these schemes; mechanisms, laws, institutions and bodies constituted for the protection and betterment of these vulnerable sections.

Elderly abuse a growing concern in India, shows LASI:


Context:

Longitudinal Ageing Study in India (LASI) is a national survey of scientific investigation of the health, economic, and social determinants and consequences of population aging in India. The report was recently released.

Key findings:

  1. At least five per cent of India’s elderly population (aged 60 years and above) stated they experienced ill-treatment in 2020.
  2. Bihar records highest share of elderly persons ill treated in India.
  3. Among the elderly who felt ill-treated, 77.3 per cent complained of verbal / emotional ill-treatment that can harm their self-worth or emotional well-being.
  4. The emotional harm that may emerge from verbal or emotional abuse encompasses torture, sorrow, fear, perverse emotional discomfort, loss of personal pride or sovereignty.
  5. Among those who reported as experiencing ill-treatment, the victims of physical ill-treatment were the highest in Arunachal Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh.
  6. Elderly respondents experiencing verbal / emotional ill-treatment was the highest in the states of Uttarakhand.

What is elderly abuse? What are the reasons for it?

Abuse of the elderly is a growing international problem with several manifestations in different countries and cultures. It is a fundamental violation of human rights and leads to several health and emotional problems.

The abuse can classified as physical, sexual, psychological or financial.

  • The ill-treatment is relatively more frequent among elderly women and those living in rural areas, according to the report.
  • A lot of women lose support as they lose their partners to old age. This group of people generally has no income source or economic activity.

What needs to be done?

The obstacle of elder abuse cannot be adequately solved if older people’s essential needs for food, shelter, protection and access to healthcare are not met.

  1. Good quality health care be made available and accessible to the elderly in an age-sensitive manner.
  2. Rehabilitation, community or home based disability support and end-of-life care should also be provided where needed, in a holistic manner, to effectively address the issue to failing health among the elderly.
  3. Those who are unable to generate an adequate income should be facilitated to do so.
  4. The best way to address neglect of the elderly is to counsel families, sensitise community leaders and address the issue at all levels in different forums, including the print and audio-visual media.

Sources: Down to Earth.

 

Topics Covered: India and its neighbourhood- relations.

Rohingya Crisis:


Context:

Bangladesh authorities sent a fourth group of Rohingya refugees from Myanmar to Bhasan Char island in the Bay of Bengal despite calls by human rights groups for a halt to the process.

Background:

  • Bhasan Char is an island specifically developed to accommodate 1,00,000 of the 1 million Rohingya who have fled from neighbouring Myanmar.
  • While human rights groups have criticised the move and some are being forced to go against their will, the government has insisted that refugees moving to the island have done so voluntarily.

Who are Rohingyas?

  • They are an Ethnic group, mostly Muslims. They were not granted full citizenship by Myanmar.
  • They were classified as “resident foreigners or associate citizens”.
  • Ethnically they are much closer to Indo-Aryan people of India and Bangladesh than to the Sino-Tibetans of the Country.

Described by UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres as “one of, if not the, most discriminated people in the world”.

bhasan

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. Who are Rohingyas?
  2. Location of Rakhine State.
  3. About the International Court of Justice.
  4. ICJ vs International Criminal Court.

Mains Link:

Write a note on Rohingya Crisis.

Sources: the Hindu.

 

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

Nigeria’s Okonjo-Iweala appointed WTO head:


Context:

Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala has been appointed the new chief of the World Trade Organization, becoming the first woman to ever lead the institution and the first African citizen to take on the role.

Roles and functions of Director General of WTO:

The director-general of the World Trade Organization is the officer of the World Trade Organization responsible for supervising and directing the organization’s administrative operations.

  • The Director-General has little power over matters of policy – the role is primarily advisory and managerial.
  • The Director-General supervises the WTO secretariat of about 700 staff and is appointed by WTO members for a term of four years.

WTO- facts:

  • World Trade Organization, as an institution, was established in 1995. It replaced General Agreement on Trade and Tariffs (GATT) which was in place since 1946.
  • The WTO officially commenced on 1 January 1995 under the Marrakesh Agreement, signed by 123 nations on 15 April 1994.
  • India has been a member of GATT since 1948; hence it was party to Uruguay Round and a founding member of WTO.
  • While WTO came in to existence in 1995, GATT didn’t cease to exist. It continues as WTO’s umbrella treaty for trade in goods.

Structure of WTO:

The WTO is headed by the Ministerial Conference, while the daily operations are carried out by three administrative bodies:

  1. The General Council comprises the representatives of all member countries and acts as the representative of the Ministerial Conference when it comes to daily operations. Its job is to carry out the implementation and monitoring function of the WTO.
  2. The Dispute Settlement Body is a part of the General Council and is responsible for settling trade disputes between member states. There is also an Appellate Body, where member states can appeal any decisions made against them during a dispute settlement.
  3. The Trade Policy Review Body is also a part of the General Council and is responsible for ensuring the trade policies of member states are in line with the goals of the WTO. Member countries are required to inform the WTO about changes in their laws and trade policies.

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. About WTO.
  2. Structure and functions.
  3. Role of DG.
  4. Members.
  5. About the Marrakesh Agreement.

Mains Link:

The WTO has made limited progress over the past two decades on various issues of significance. Do you think WTO as an institution is in decline? Critically comment.

Sources: the Hindu.

 


GS Paper  : 3


 

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.

Disha Ravi case: What is a toolkit that has brought activists under the lens?


Context:

Activist Disha Ravi is in custody of the Delhi Police for editing and sharing a toolkit with globally known teen anti-climate change campaigner Greta Thunberg.

  • Some others have also been booked for coordinating with pro-Khalistan outfit Poetic Justice Foundation (PFJ) in connection with protest by farmers’ unions over the new farm laws.

What is a toolkit?

A toolkit has become a handy tool in sustaining a movement or campaign in times of social media influences.

  • It is a document created as an explainer on an issue as a guide to everybody who is associated with the campaign or can be roped in to give a fillip to the campaign.
  • It also provides a roadmap of how to take forward the campaign or agitation explaining what needs to be done, when and how.

What’s the case now?

In the present case, the toolkit became an accidental disclosure when Greta Thunberg on February 5 shared a Google document, a “toolkit, inadvertently. She deleted the tweet later, but it became a headline.

  • The toolkit tried to “explain the farmers’ protests” against the Modi government on the Delhi borders over the farm laws passed by Parliament in 2020.
  • After investigations, the Delhi police found that some pro-Khalistani elements were involved in creating disaffection against the country.
  • Disha Ravi is now accused of being a “key conspirator” for preparing and sharing the document.

What is Khalistan movement?

Khalistan movement was a separatist campaign primarily backed by Pakistan to foment terrorism during 1980s in Punjab. There have been attempts in recent times by groups based in Pakistan and Canada to revive the campaign with no practical traction in India.

Sources: the Hindu.

 


Facts for Prelims:


Giant Leatherback turtle:

Context: Proposals for tourism and port development in the Andaman and Nicobar (A&N) Islands have conservationists worried over the fate of some of the most important nesting populations of the Giant Leatherback turtle in this part of the Indian Ocean.

Key facts:

  • The largest of the seven species of sea turtles on the planet and also the most long-ranging, Leatherbacks are found in all oceans except the Arctic and the Antarctic.
  • Within the Indian Ocean, they nest only in Indonesia, Sri Lanka and the Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
  • They are also listed in Schedule I of India’s Wildlife Protection Act, 1972.

philipine_sea_turtles

Maa Centeens:

Launched by West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee for providing subsidised cooked meals for the poor and the destitute at a nominal cost of ₹5.

What is Sandes?

  • The National Informatics Centre has launched an instant messaging platform called Sandes on the lines of WhatsApp.
  • Like WhatsApp, the new NIC platform can be used for all kinds of communications by anyone with a mobile number or email id.
  • The limitation, however, is that the app does not allow the user to change their email id or registered phone number. The user will have to re-register as a new user in case they wish to change their registered email id or phone number on the app.

sandes

Maharaja Suheldev:

PM to lay the foundation stone of Maharaja Suheldev Memorial and development work of Chittaura Lake in Uttar Pradesh.

Key Facts:

  1. Suheldev was a legendary king of Shravasti (in present day north-eastern Uttar Pradesh) who is known to have defeated and killed the Ghaznavi general Ghazi Saiyyad Salar Masud in Bahraich in the early 11th century.
  2. Raja Suheldev finds mention in ‘Mirat-i-Masudi’, a 17th century Persian-language historical account.
  3. ‘Mirat-i-Masudi’ is the biography of Salar Masud, written by Abd-ur-Rahman Chishti during the reign of the Mughal emperor Jahangir (1605–1627). According to the legend, Suhaldev was the eldest son of King Mordhwaj of Shravasti.

Odisha’s Karlapat Sanctuary:

Six elephants die of haemorrhagic septicaemia in a fortnight in Odisha’s Karlapat Sanctuary.

  • Haemorrhagic septicaemia is a contagious bacterial disease which infects animals that come in contact with contaminated water or soil.
  • The respiratory tract and lungs of the animals are affected, leading to severe pneumonia.
  • The disease generally spreads in the period right before and after the monsoons, said Nath. It can affect cattle, buffalo and other animals.

 

Articles to be covered tomorrow:

  1. Lawyers flag violation of norms in Disha arrest.
  2. Why are petrol, diesel rising?

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