Print Friendly, PDF & Email

INSIGHTS DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS + PIB SUMMARY- 19 March 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. SC to hear plea against sale of electoral bonds.

2. SC sought Centre’s response in “ration cards cancellation” case.

 

GS Paper 3:

1. Eastern Rajasthan Canal Project (ERCP).

2. Artificial photosynthesis to provide solutions for carbon capture and conversion.

3. National Technical Textiles Mission.

4. High Electron Mobility Transistors (HEMTs).

5. Digital Green Certificate.

 

Facts for Prelims:

1. ‘Indo-U.S. Science and Technology Forum’ (IUSSTF).

2. Go Electric Campaign.

3. Model state for Van Dhan Vikas Yojana.

4. Catch the rain campaiagn.

5. National Register of Indian Citizens (NRIC).

 


GS Paper  :  2


 

Topics Covered: Important aspects of governance, transparency and accountability, e-governance- applications, models, successes, limitations, and potential; citizens charters, transparency & accountability and institutional and other measures.

SC to hear plea against sale of electoral bonds:


Context:

The Supreme Court has agreed to urgently hear a plea by NGO Association for Democratic Reforms to stay the sale of a new set of electoral bonds on April 1, before the Assembly elections in crucial States such as West Bengal and Tamil Nadu.

What’s the issue?

The petitioner pointed out that the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and the Election Commission had both said that the sale of electoral bonds had become an avenue for shell corporations and entities to park illicit money and even proceeds of bribes with political parties.

What are electoral bonds?

  • Electoral Bond is a financial instrument for making donations to political parties.
  • The bonds are issued in multiples of Rs. 1,000, Rs. 10,000, Rs. 1 lakh, Rs. 10 lakh and Rs. 1 crore without any maximum limit.
  • State Bank of India is authorised to issue and encash these bonds, which are valid for fifteen days from the date of issuance.
  • These bonds are redeemable in the designated account of a registered political party.
  • The bonds are available for purchase by any person (who is a citizen of India or incorporated or established in India) for a period of ten days each in the months of January, April, July and October as may be specified by the Central Government.
  • A person being an individual can buy bonds, either singly or jointly with other individuals.
  • Donor’s name is not mentioned on the bond.

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. What are electoral bonds?
  2. Eligibility.
  3. Denomination.
  4. Features.
  5. Who can issue these bonds?

Mains Link:

Critically examine the effectiveness of electoral bonds in ensuring transparent political funding and suggest alternatives?

Sources: the Hindu.

 

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

SC sought Centre’s response in “ration cards cancellation” case:


Context:

The Supreme Court has asked the Centre to respond to a plea related to the cancellation of over three-crore ration cards for not linking them to Aadhaar.

  • Also, the SC has sought a report on the implementation of the grievances redressal mechanism. It is contained in Sections 14, 15 and 16 of the National Food Security Act, 2013.

What’s the issue?

A petition has been filed in the Supreme Court which said that such cancellations had led to starvation deaths across the country.

  • Right to food, which the ration card symbolised, cannot be curbed or cancelled because of lack of Aadhaar, says the petitioner.

Concerns:

  • The Court said the issue is concerning because the government has cancelled cards of even tribal people and the poor, solely because they could not be biometrically linked with Aadhaar.
  • The Union of India casually gives an explanation that these cancelled cards were bogus. The real reason is that the technological system based on iris identification, thumb prints, non-possession of Aadhaar, non-functioning of the Internet in rural and remote areas, etc., led to largescale cancellation of ration cards, without notice to the family concerned.

What are Ration Cards?

Ration card is an official document issued by state governments in India to households. The Household should be eligible to purchase subsidized food grain under the National Food Security Act (NFSA). They also serve as a common form of identification for many Indians.

  • Under the NFSA, all state governments have to identify eligible households under the Public Distribution System and provide them with ration cards.

India’s ranking in global indices:

  • The Hunger Watch Report of the Right to Food Campaign in 2020 characterised the hunger situation in India as “grave”.
  • India ranks 94 out of 107 countries in the Global Hunger Index 2020 and is in the ‘Serious Hunger Category’.

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. What are ration cards?
  2. Features.
  3. Beneficiaries identification.
  4. Benefits.

Mains Link:

Discuss the concerns associated with the cancellation of over three-crore ration cards for not linking them to Aadhaar.

Sources: the Hindu.

 


GS Paper  :  3


 

Topics Covered: Different types of irrigation and irrigation systems storage.

Eastern Rajasthan Canal Project (ERCP):


Context:

Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot has been strongly demanding national project status for the Eastern Rajasthan Canal Project (ERCP).

What is the Eastern Rajasthan Canal Project (ERCP)?

The Eastern Rajasthan Canal Project aims to harvest surplus water available during the rainy season in rivers in southern Rajasthan such as Chambal and its tributaries including Kunnu, Parvati, Kalisindh.

  • Besides supplying drinking water in 13 districts, the mega project will also provide irrigation water to an additional 2 lakh hectares of land.
  • It will also supply water to the Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor and take care of the flood and drought situation in the area.

Need for:

According to the state Water Resources Department, Rajasthan, the largest state of India with a geographical area of 342.52 lakh hectares which amount to 10.4 per cent of the entire country, holds only 1.16 per cent of India’s surface water and 1.72 per cent of groundwater.

Among the state’s water bodies, only the Chambal river basin has surplus water. But, this water cannot be tapped directly because the area around the Kota barrage is designated as a crocodile sanctuary.

  • Therefore, the ERCP aims to create a network of water channels which will cover 23.67 per cent area of Rajasthan along with 41.13 per cent population of the state.

Why is the demand of declaring the ERCP as a national project?

The reason cited by the Chief Minister for wanting the ERCP to be a national project is that its estimated cost is around Rs 40,000 crore, which is not possible to be borne by the state government.

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. About ERCP.
  2. Areas covered.
  3. Rivers in Rajasthan and key tributaries.
  4. National Project status- benefits.

Mains Link:

Discuss the significance of ERCP project.

Sources: Indian Express.

 

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.

Artificial photosynthesis to provide solutions for carbon capture and conversion:


Context:

Researchers from the Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research (JNCASR) have developed an integrated system that can capture carbon dioxide (CO2) and convert it into solar fuel.

  • They have named this process as artificial photosynthesis (AP) — which they feel can aid mitigate effects of emissions made by use of fossil fuels.

How it works?

This artificial photosynthesis (AP) harnesses solar energy and converts the captured carbon dioxide to carbon monoxide (CO) (using a photosensitizer), which can be used as a fuel for internal combustion engines.

  • Here, scientists are essentially conducting the same fundamental process in natural photosynthesis but with simpler nanostructures.
  • This process of converting CO2 into solar fuel also generates oxygen from water.

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  • All about Photosynthesis.

Mains Link:

Write a note on recent initiatives aimed at reducing carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

Sources: PIB.

 

Topics Covered: Indigenization of technology and developing new technology.

National Technical Textiles Mission:


The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) had, in 2020, approved the setting up of a National Technical Textiles Mission at an total outlay of ₹1,480 Crore.

Aim:

To position the country as a global leader in technical textiles and increase the use of technical textiles in the domestic market.

The Mission will be implemented for four years from 2020-2021 and will have four components:

  1. The first component will focus on research and development and innovation and will have an outlay of ₹1,000 crore. The research will be at both, fibre level and application-based in geo, agro, medical, sports and mobile textiles and development of bio-degradable technical textiles.
  2. The second component will be for promotion and development of market for technical textiles. The Mission will aim at taking domestic market size to $40 billion to $50 billion by 2024.
  3. The third component will focus on export promotion so that technical textile exports from the country reach from the ₹14,000 crore now to ₹20,000 crore by 2021-2022 and ensure 10% average growth every year till the Mission ends.
  4. The last component will be on education, training and skill development.

What are technical textiles?

Technical textiles are defined as textile materials and products manufactured primarily for their technical performance and functional properties rather than aesthetic and decorative characteristics.

Depending upon their application areas, Technical Textiles products are divided into 12 broad categories: Agrotech, Buildtech, Clothtech, Geotech, Hometech, Indutech, Mobiltech, Meditech, Protech, Sportstech, Oekotech, Packtech.

 

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. What are technical textiles?
  2. Features.
  3. Types.
  4. Benefits.

Mains Link:

Discuss the significance of technical textiles.

Sources: PIB.

 

Topics Covered: Indigenization of technology and developing new technology.

High Electron Mobility Transistors (HEMTs):


Context:

Indian scientists have developed a highly reliable HEMT from gallium nitride (GaN).

Significance:

  • This is the first-ever indigenous HEMT device and is useful in electric cars, locomotives, power transmission and other areas requiring high voltage and high-frequency switching.
  • This would reduce the cost of importing such stable and efficient transistors required in power electronics.
  • It will also make India self-reliant in power transistor technology.

What are HEMTs?

High Electron Mobility Transistor (HEMT) is a normally OFF device and can switch currents up to 4A and operates at 600 V.

HEMTs are used in integrated circuits as digital on-off switches.

  • HEMT transistors are able to operate at higher frequencies than ordinary transistors, up to millimeter wave frequencies, and are used in high-frequency products such as cell phones, satellite television receivers, voltage converters, and radar equipment.
  • They are widely used in satellite receivers, in low power amplifiers and in the defense industry.

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. What are HEMTs?
  2. How are they different from regular transistors?
  3. Benefits.
  4. Applications.

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.

Digital Green Certificate:


Context:

The European commission has unveiled a “digital green certificate” that could allow EU citizens who have been vaccinated, tested negative or recovered from Covid-19 to travel more freely within the bloc.

What is it?

  • The digital document will contain a QR code and can be carried on a mobile phone.
  • It has deliberately not been called a “vaccine passport” because some member states felt that would discriminate against those who had not yet been offered a shot.
  • All EU citizens or third-country nationals who are legally staying in the EU will be able to use these digital certificates and thereby will be exempted from free movement restrictions.

Who will issue these certificates?

The certificate can be issued by authorities, including hospitals, testing centres and health authorities.

What is the need for such a document?

In the EU and across the world, the tourism industry has been severely impacted due to the spread of the disease.

Many countries have, therefore, been contemplating digital certificates or passports that will be proof that a person has been vaccinated or has recovered from COVID-19.

  • In February, Israel became the first country to issue certificates called “vaccine passports” that will allow vaccinated individuals to use some facilities and attend events.

Sources: Indian Express.

 


Facts for Prelims:


‘Indo-U.S. Science and Technology Forum’ (IUSSTF):

  • Established under an agreement between the Governments of India and the United States of America in March 2000.
  • It is a bilateral organization funded by the Department of Science & Technology (DST), Governments of India, and the U.S. Department of States.
  • It promotes Science, Technology, Engineering and Innovation through substantive interaction among government, academia and industry.

Go Electric Campaign:

Campaign launched by the Ministry of Power.

  • Objective: Creating awareness among masses on benefits of adopting Electric Vehicles and Electric Cooking appliances such as Induction cook hobs, Electric pressure cooker etc.

Model state for Van Dhan Vikas Yojana:

Manipur has emerged as the Champion state where the Van Dhan programme has emerged as a major source of employment for the local tribals.

  • The Van Dhan Vikas Yojana is a programme for value addition, branding & marketing of Minor Forest Produces by establishing Van Dhan Kendras to facilitate creation of sustainable livelihoods for the forest-based tribes.
  • It is a major scheme that has contributed to increasing employment and income generation among the tribal population.
  • The programme is implemented by TRIFED.

 Catch the rain Campaign:

National Water Mission, Ministry of Jal Shakti had launched a campaign “Catch the Rain” with the tag line “Catch the rain, where it falls, when it falls” in 2020.

It aims to nudge the states and all stakeholders to create Rain Water Harvesting Structures (RWHS) suitable to the climatic conditions and sub-soil strata, with people’s active participation.

  • Launched in collaboration with the “Nehru Yuva Kendra Sangathan” (NYKS) involving Youth Clubs in 623 districts across the country.

National Register of Indian Citizens (NRIC):

  • It is compulsory for every citizen of the country to register in a National Register of Indian Citizens (NRIC) as per Section 14A of the Citizenship Act 1955 as amended in 2004.
  • As per the provisions contained in Rule 3 of the Citizenship Rules 2003 framed under the Citizenship Act, 1955, the Registrar General of Citizen Registration shall establish and maintain the National Register of Indian Citizens and prepare the Population Register.

  • Join our Official Telegram Channel HERE for Motivation and Fast Updates
  • Subscribe to our YouTube Channel HERE to watch Motivational and New analysis videos