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INSIGHTS DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS + PIB SUMMARY- 18 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. What are money Bills?

2. Nagaland Assembly forms panel on Naga political issue.

3. More financial powers for senior officers.

4. Amendments to Juvenile Justice Act.

5. UN peacekeepers.

6. Pak. to remain in FATF grey list until June.

7. How is WHO funded?

 

GS Paper 3:

1. Production-linked incentive scheme.

2. NASA Perseverance.

 

Facts for Prelims:

1. Charminar.

2. ISL dictionary.

 


GS Paper  :  2


 

Topics Covered: Indian Constitution- historical underpinnings, evolution, features, amendments, significant provisions and basic structure.

What are money Bills?


Context:

In a pre-emptive move, the Congress has written to Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla, urging him not to bypass the Rajya Sabha by declaring seven key Bills, including one on the privatisation of two public sector banks, as money Bills.

Background:

  • The Rajya Sabha has limited powers to legislate on a money Bill.
  • The Lok Sabha is free to accept or reject amendments made by the Rajya Sabha on a money Bill.

What is a Money bill?

A money bill is defined by Article 110 of the Constitution, as a draft law that contains only provisions that deal with all or any of the matters listed therein.

  • These comprise a set of seven features, broadly including items such as the imposition or regulation of a tax; the regulation of the borrowing of money by the Government of India; the withdrawal of money from the Consolidated Fund of India; and so forth.

In the event a proposed legislation contains other features, ones that are not merely incidental to the items specifically outlined, such a draft law cannot be classified as a money bill.

Article 110 further clarifies that in cases where a dispute arises over whether a bill is a money bill or not, the Lok Sabha Speaker’s decision on the issue shall be considered final.

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. What changes can be made via Finance Bill?
  2. How can changes related to income tax be made?
  3. Money Bill vs Finance bill.
  4. Who decides on matters related to Money and Finance Bills.

Mains Link:

How does a money bill differ from a financial Bill? Analyze whether the process of classifying a bill as money bill needs change?

Sources: the Hindu.

 

Topics Covered: Functions and responsibilities of the Union and the States, issues and challenges pertaining to the federal structure, devolution of powers and finances up to local levels and challenges therein.

Nagaland Assembly forms panel on Naga political issue:


Context:

The Nagaland Assembly has formed a seven-member drafting committee on the Naga political issue that has been hanging fire for more than two decades.

Background:

  • After decades of armed extremism, peace dawned on Nagaland in 1997 after the Isak-Muivah faction of the National Socialist Council of Nagaland, or NSCN (IM), declared a ceasefire.
  • Several rounds of talks have, however, failed to yield a solution to the political problem, apart from the August 2015 Framework Agreement between the Centre and the NSCN (IM) and the November 2017 Agreed Position between the Centre and the Naga National Political Groups (NNPGs).

How old is the Naga political issue?

  1. Pre- independence:
  • The British annexed Assam in 1826, and in 1881, the Naga Hills too became part of British India. The first sign of Naga resistance was seen in the formation of the Naga Club in 1918, which told the Simon Commission in 1929 “to leave us alone to determine for ourselves as in ancient times”.
  • In 1946 came the Naga National Council (NNC), which declared Nagaland an independent state on August 14, 1947.
  • The NNC resolved to establish a “sovereign Naga state” and conducted a “referendum” in 1951, in which “99 per cent” supported an “independent” Nagaland.
  1. Post- independence:

On March 22, 1952, underground Naga Federal Government (NFG) and the Naga Federal Army (NFA) were formed. The Government of India sent in the Army to crush the insurgency and, in 1958, enacted the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act.

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. Parts of States included under Greater Nagalim.
  2. About Naga Club and NNC.
  3. When was the Naga Referendum held?
  4. Overview of AFSPA.
  5. Overview of Article 371 and sub provisions thereunder.

Mains Link:

Discuss the issues and challenges associated with the Naga Peace Accord.

Sources: the Hindu.

 

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

More financial powers for senior officers:


Context:

The Cabinet has approved enhanced delegation of financial powers for capital procurement to senior officers below the rank of Vice-Chief of armed forces.

Significance:

The delegation of power will help in the modernization of Armed forces.

 DAP 2020:

It was unveiled in September 2020.

  • The new policy superseded the Defence Procurement Procedure of 2016 from October 1, 2020.
  • The DAP contains policies and procedures for procurement and acquisition from the capital budget of the MoD in order to modernise the Armed Forces including the Coast Guard.

Highlights of the new policy:

  1. Reservations for Indigenous firms:

The policy reserves several procurement categories for indigenous firms.

DAP 2020 defines an “Indian vendor” as a company that is owned and controlled by resident Indian citizens, with foreign direct investment (FDI) not more than 49 per cent.

  1. New Buy (Global–Manufacture in India) category:

This stipulates indigenisation of at least 50 per cent of the overall contract value of a foreign purchase bought with the intention of subsequently building it in India with technology transfer.

  1. Greater indigenous content:

It promotes greater indigenous content in arms and equipment of the military procures, including equipment manufactured in India under licence. In most acquisition categories, DAP-2020 stipulates 10 per cent higher indigenisation than DPP 2016.

  1. Import embargo list:

The “import embargo list” of 101 items that the government had promulgated has been specifically incorporated into DAP 2020. (An embargo is a government order that restricts commerce with a specified country or the exchange of specific goods.)

  1. Offset liability:

The government has decided not to have an offset clause in procurement of defence equipment if the deal is done through inter-government agreement (IGA), government-to-government or an ab initio single vendor.

  • The offset clause requires a foreign vendor to invest a part of the contract value in India.

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. What is offset liability?
  2. What is Base Control Price?
  3. Is DAP 2020 applicable for Coast Guard?
  4. Dhirendra Singh committee was constituted for?

Mains Link:

Discuss the significance of the policy.

Sources: the Hindu.

 

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

Amendments to Juvenile Justice Act:


Context:

The Union Cabinet has approved a slew of amendments to the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015.

The latest amendments:

  1. Empower the District Magistrates (DM) to issue adoption orders as well as monitor the implementation of the law.
  2. Empower the DMs and the additional DMs to monitor the functioning of agencies responsible for implementing the JJ Act.
  3. The District Child Protection Units will function under the DMs.
  4. Before someone sets up a shelter home for children and sends their proposal for registration under the JJ Act to the State, a DM will have to assess their capacity and conduct a background check.
  5. A DM could also independently evaluate the functioning of the Child Welfare Committee, Special Juvenile Protection Units and registered childcare institutes.

About JJ Act:

  1. Replaced the 2000 act- the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2000.
  2. Aim: To Comprehensively address children in conflict with law and children in need of care and protection.
  3. It mandates setting up Juvenile Justice Boards and Child Welfare Committees in every district. Both must have at least one-woman member each.
  4. Also, the Central Adoption Resource Authority (CARA) was granted the status of a statutory body to enable it to perform its function more effectively.
  5. The Act included several new offences committed against children (like, illegal adoptions, use of child by militant groups, offences against disabled children, etc) which are not adequately covered under any other law.
  6. All Child Care Institutions, whether run by State Government or by voluntary or non-governmental organisations are to be mandatorily registered under the Act within 6 months from the date of commencement of the Act.

Sources: the Hindu

 

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

UN peacekeepers:


Context:

India to gift 2 lakh vaccine doses to UN peacekeepers.

  • The announcement was made by External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar during his remarks at a UN Security Council open debate on the implementation of resolution 2532 (2020), passed last year.

 What is UNSC resolution 2532?

The resolution:

  1. Demands a general and immediate cessation of hostilities in all situations on its agenda” (i.e., those already identified by the United Nations Security Council (UNSC)).
  2. Calls for all parties engaged in armed conflicts (i.e., including those not specifically on the UNSC agenda) to “engage immediately in a durable humanitarian pause for at least 90 consecutive days”.
  3. Specifically excludes UNSC designated terrorist groups, e.g., the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant.

What is peacekeeping? It’s significance?

  • United Nations Peacekeeping is a joint effort between the Department of Peace Operations and the Department of Operational Support.
  • Every peacekeeping mission is authorized by the Security Council.
  • The financial resources of UN Peacekeeping operations are the collective responsibility of UN Member States.
  • According to the UN Charter, every Member State is legally obligated to pay their respective share for peacekeeping.

Composition:

  • UN peacekeepers (often referred to as Blue Berets or Blue Helmets because of their light blue berets or helmets) can include soldiers, police officers, and civilian personnel.
  • Peacekeeping forces are contributed by member states on a voluntary basis.
  • Civilian staff of peace operations are international civil servants, recruited and deployed by the UN Secretariat.

UN Peacekeeping is guided by three basic principles:

  1. Consent of the parties.
  2. Impartiality.
  3. Non-use of force except in self-defence and defence of the mandate.

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. Who funds peacekeeping operations?
  2. Role of UNSC.
  3. Composition of Peacekeepers?
  4. Why peacekeepers are called as Blue Helmets?
  5. Guiding principles of UN peacekeeping.
  6. Ongoing peacekeeping missions.

Mains Link:

Write a note on UN Peacekeeping and its significance.

Sources: the Hindu.

 

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

Pak. to remain in FATF grey list until June:


Context:

The FATF’s Plenary and Working Group meetings, scheduled to be held from February 21 to 26 in Paris, is all set to decide on Pakistan’s grey list status. However, Pakistan is unlikely to exit the Financial Action Task Force’s (FATF) ‘grey’ list until June.

Background:

Pakistan was placed on the ‘grey’ list in June 2018 and given a timeline to implement 27 action points.

About FATF:

The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) is an inter-governmental body established in 1989 on the initiative of the G7.

  • It is a “policy-making body” which works to generate the necessary political will to bring about national legislative and regulatory reforms in various areas.
  • The FATF Secretariat is housed at the OECD headquarters in Paris.

Roles and functions:

  1. Initially it was established to examine and develop measures to combat money laundering.
  2. In October 2001, the FATF expanded its mandate to incorporate efforts to combat terrorist financing, in addition to money laundering.
  3. In April 2012, it added efforts to counter the financing of proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.

Composition:

The FATF currently comprises 37 member jurisdictions and 2 regional organisations, representing most major financial centres in all parts of the globe. It also has observers and associate members.

What is blacklist and grey list?

Black List: Countries known as Non-Cooperative Countries or Territories (NCCTs) are put in the blacklist. These countries support terror funding and money laundering activities. The FATF revises the blacklist regularly, adding or deleting entries.

Grey List: Countries that are considered safe haven for supporting terror funding and money laundering are put in the FATF grey list. This inclusion serves as a warning to the country that it may enter the blacklist.

Considered in the grey list may face:

  1. Economic sanctions from IMF, World Bank, ADB.
  2. Problem in getting loans from IMF, World Bank, ADB and other countries.
  3. Reduction in international trade.
  4. International boycott.

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. G7 vs G8 vs G20.
  2. Black vs Grey list.
  3. Are FATF’s decisions binding on member countries?
  4. Who heads the FATF?
  5. Where is its secretariat?

Mains Link:

What is the mandate and objectives of the Financial Action Task Force? Discuss.

Sources: the Hindu.

 

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

How is WHO funded?


Context:

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced that his country would pay the World Health Organization (WHO) $200 million by the end of this month.

  • The announcement is significant as former U.S. President Donald Trump had begun the process of withdrawing the U.S. from the WHO, a process stopped by his successor, President Joe Biden.

Need for and significance of the move:

The U.S. said it believes that multilateralism, the United Nations, the World Health Organization, are essential not just as an effective international COVID-19 health and humanitarian response but also building stronger global health capacity and security for the future.

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.

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.

 


GS Paper  :  3


 

Topics Covered: Effects of liberalization on the economy, changes in industrial policy and their effects on industrial growth.

Production-linked incentive scheme:


Context:

The Union Cabinet has approved the production-linked incentive scheme for the telecom sector with an outlay of ₹12,195 crore over five years.

  • The implementation scheme will start from April 1, 2021.

Significance:

  • The scheme is expected to encourage production of equipment worth Rs 2.44 lakh crore and create direct and indirect employment for about 40,000 people.
  • The scheme is expected to bring investment of over Rs 3,000 crore and generate significant direct and indirect employment and taxes both.

About the PLI scheme:

  1. The scheme aims to make India a global hub for manufacturing telecom equipment.
  2. Its eligibility criteria include achievement of a minimum threshold of cumulative incremental investment and incremental sales of manufactured goods.
  3. The incentive structure ranges between 4% and 7% for different categories and years. Financial year 2019-20 will be treated as the base year for computation of cumulative incremental sales of manufactured goods net of taxes.
  4. Minimum investment threshold for MSMEs has been kept at Rs 10 crore and for others at Rs 100 crore.
  5. Once qualified, the investor will be incentivised up to 20 times of minimum investment threshold enabling them to utilise their unused capacity.

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. Production linked incentive scheme- when was it announced?
  2. Incentives under the scheme is available to?
  3. What kind of investments will be considered?
  4. Duration of the scheme.
  5. Who will implement it?

Mains Link:

What is the production linked incentive scheme for electronics manufacturers? Discuss.

Sources: PIB.

 

Topics Covered: Awareness in space.

NASA Perseverance:


Context:

After a seven months’ journey from Earth, the NASA Perseverance is in its final stretch towards destination Mars.

About the Perseverance rover:

  • Launched on July of 2020.
  • It is expected to touch down on Mars at the Jezero Crater.
  • The primary task of Perseverance is to seek signs of ancient life and collect samples of rock and reglolith to possibly return these to Earth.
  • Perseverance is fueled by electrical power by using heat of plutonium’s radioactive decay.
  • NASA Perseverance gets shape memory alloys to remain steady on surface of Mars.
  • Armed with drills, cameras and lasers, Perseverance is set to explore Mars.

Why is this mission significant?

  1. Perseverance will carry a unique instrument, MOXIE or Mars Oxygen ISRU Experiment: which for the first time will manufacture molecular oxygen on Mars using carbon dioxide from the carbon-dioxide-rich atmosphere (ISRU means In Situ Resource Utilization: or the use of local resources to meet human needs or requirements of the spacecraft).
  2. It will carry Ingenuity, the first ever helicopter to fly on Mars. This is the first time NASA will fly a helicopter on another planet or satellite.

Previous Mars Missions by NASA:

  1. NASA has been sending rovers on Mars since 1997 when the Mars Pathfinder Mission was initiated.
  2. As the mission turned out to be successful, NASA decided to continue going to Mars to find evidence.
  3. Second time, the space organization sent twin rovers, Spirit and Opportunity to Mars in 2003.
  4. The third attempt was by sending Curiosity in 2012.

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. Missions to Mars.
  2. Perseverance- objectives.
  3. Instruments onboard.
  4. About the UAE’s Hope and China’s Tianwen-1 spacecraft.
  5. Pathfinder mission.

Sources: the Hindu.

 


Facts for Prelims:


Charminar:

  • Built by Mohammed Quli Qutab Shah, in 1591 to commemorate the end of the plague in the city.
  • Each minar stands on a lotus-leaf base, a special recurrent motif in Qutub Shahi buildings.

Why in News?

No records of chilla (a small shrine) adjacent to Charminar, says the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI). The ASI was responding to a Right to Information query.

ISL dictionary:

The third edition of the digital Indian Sign Language dictionary was launched recently.

It included 10,000 terms across six categories.

The dictionary was prepared by the Indian Sign Language Research and Training Centre under the Social Justice and Empowerment Ministry.

  • ISLRTC is an autonomous body under Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment.
  • The Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016 recognizes Sign Language as a means of communication.

 

Articles to be covered tomorrow:

  1. No role in Tamil Nadu govt.’s quota decisions, Centre tells SC.

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