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INSIGHTS DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS + PIB SUMMARY- 26 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. Termination of Session.

2. SC suggests posting retired judges to clear backlog in HCs.

3. What are postal ballots?

4. RT-PCR.

5. State welfare boards for building and other construction workers (BOCW).

6. South China sea.

 

Facts for Prelims:

1. Suez Canal.

2. Central Scrutiny Centre (CSC).

 


GS Paper  :  2


 

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

Termination of Session:


A sitting of Parliament can be terminated by adjournment or adjournment sine die or prorogation or dissolution (in the case of the Lok Sabha).

Adjournment: It suspends the work in a sitting for a specified time, which may be hours, days or weeks.

Adjournment sine die: It means terminating a sitting of Parliament for an indefinite period.

In other words, when the House is adjourned without naming a day for reassembly.

  • The power of adjournment as well as adjournment sine die lies with the presiding officer (Speaker or Chairman) of the House.

Prorogation: The President issues a notification for prorogation of the session after the business of a session is completed and the presiding officer declares the House adjourned sine die. The President can also prorogue the House while in session.

Dissolution: Only the Lok Sabha is subject to dissolution. Rajya Sabha, being a permanent House, is not subject to dissolution.

  • A dissolution ends the life of the existing House, and a new House is constituted after general elections are held.
  • The President is empowered to dissolve the Lok Sabha.

Context:

Both Houses of Parliament were adjourned sine die recently nearly two weeks before schedule, keeping in mind requests made for the curtailment of the second part of the Budget session by MPs from West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Assam, Puducherry and Kerala owing to the Assembly elections.

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. Who summons the Houses of Parliament.
  2. Powers of President vs Powers of Chairperson.
  3. What is adjournment sine die?
  4. What is dissolution of the house?
  5. Why Rajya Sabha cannot be dissolved?

Mains Link:

What needs to be done to increase the productivity of both the houses of Parliament? Discuss.

Sources: the Hindu.

 

Topics Covered : Separation of powers between various organs dispute redressal mechanisms and institutions.

SC suggests posting retired judges to clear backlog in HCs:


Context:

The Supreme Court has pushed for the appointment of retired judges to battle pendency of cases in High Courts.

  • The court said retired judges could be chosen on the basis of their expertise in a particular field of dispute and allowed to retire once the pendency in that zone of law was over.

Constitutional Provisions in this regard:

The appointment of ad-hoc judges was provided for in the Constitution under Article 224A.

Procedure to be followed:

  • Under the Article, the Chief Justice of a High Court for any State may at any time, with the previous consent of the President, request any person who has held the office of judge of that court or of any other High Court to sit and act as a judge of the High Court for that State.
  • Such a judge is entitled to such allowances as the president may determine. He will also enjoy all the jurisdiction, powers and privileges of a judge of the Supreme Court. But, he will not otherwise be deemed to be a judge of the Supreme Court.

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. Appointment of retired judges.
  2. Powers and functions.
  3. Procedure.

Mains Link:

The Supreme Court has pushed for the appointment of retired judges to battle pendency of cases in High Courts. Comment.

Sources: the Hindu.

 

Topics Covered: Salient features of the Representation of People’s Act.

What are postal ballots?


Context:

The postal voting for electors aged above 80 is under way in various Assembly constituencies of Tamil Nadu.

  • This is the first time certain sections of the public in the State are allowed to cast postal ballots. Earlier, only service voters and those drafted for election work were allowed the facility.

What is postal voting?

A restricted set of voters can exercise postal voting. Through this facility, a voter can cast her vote remotely by recording her preference on the ballot paper and sending it back to the election officer before counting.

Who else can avail this facility?

Members of the armed forces like the Army, Navy and Air Force, members of the armed police force of a state (serving outside the state), government employees posted outside India and their spouses are entitled to vote only by post.

  • The exception to the above-mentioned category of voters is provided under Section 60 of the Representation of the People Act, 1951.

Representation of the People Act, 1951:

This act provides for the actual conduct of elections in India. It deals with the following matters:

  1. Details like Qualification and Disqualification of members of both the Houses of Parliament and the State Legislatures,
  2. Administrative machinery for conducting elections,
  3. Registration of Political parties,
  4. Conduct of Elections,
  5. Election Disputes,
  6. Corrupt practices & Electoral offences, &
  7. By-elections.

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. What is Postal Voting?
  2. Who is eligible?
  3. Who can decide matters related to postal voting?
  4. Role of Election Commission of India.
  5. Is Right to vote a constitutional right?

Mains Link:

Discuss the features and benefits of postal voting.

Sources: the Hindu.

 

Topics Covered : Issues related to Health.

RT-PCR:


Context:

As per the latest order of the Karnataka Government, passengers arriving from any State to Bengaluru must possess a RT-PCR negative report.

How RT-PCR is used for detecting Covid-19?

  • The causative agent for Covid19 is the SARS-CoV-2 virus. It is an RNA virus, that means it infiltrates a healthy cell to multiply and survive.
  • Thus, the RT-PCR test is for the identification of SARS-CoV-2 RNA. In this, the RNA is converted to DNA through a process called ‘reverse transcription’ for detecting viruses.

How it is carried out?

  • The SARS-CoV-2 RNA is generally detectable in respiratory specimens during the acute phase of infection.
  • For that upper and lower respiratory specimens (such as nasal, nasopharyngeal) are collected.
  • This sample is treated with several chemical solutions that remove substances, such as proteins and fats, and extracts only the RNA present in the sample.
  • Real-time RT-PCR setup usually goes through 35 cycles, which means that by the end of the process, around 35 billion new copies of the sections of viral DNA are created from each strand of the virus present in the sample.
  • As new copies of the viral DNA sections are built, the marker labels attach to the DNA strands and then release a fluorescent dye, which is measured by the machine’s computer and presented in real-time on the screen. The computer tracks the amount of fluorescence in the sample after each cycle. When the amount goes over a certain level of fluorescence, this confirms that the virus is present.

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. Difference between RNA and DNA.
  2. Differences between RT PCR and antibody tests.
  3. What is a RNA virus? How it survives?
  4. What are antibodies?

Mains Link:

Discuss the significance of RT- PCR test.

Sources: the Hindu.

 

Topics Covered : Welfare schemes for vulnerable sections of the population by the Centre and States and the performance of these schemes;

State welfare boards for building and other construction workers (BOCW):


Context:

The Centre has ordered State welfare boards for building and other construction workers (BOCW) not to distribute household and other articles to workers and instead stick to transferring monetary assistance into their bank accounts.

  • The BOCW boards are meant to carry out welfare activities for workers from the cess on construction collected by States.

Background:

The building and other construction workers (BOCW) are the most vulnerable segment of the unorganized sector workers in India. They work under aggravating conditions with uncertain future. A large chunk of them are migrant labourers working in different states far away from their native places. They play a significant role in nation-building yet find themselves on the margins of the society.

About the Building and Other Construction Workers Act, 1996:

  • Enacted to regulate the employment and conditions of service of these workers and to provide for their safety, health and welfare measures.
  • Under the Act, the State Governments through their State Welfare Boards are mandated to frame and implement welfare schemes for construction workers.
  • The fund, under the legislation, comprises the Cess @1% of construction costs which is levied and collected by the State Governments and remitted to the Welfare Fund.

What is a cess?

  • A cess is levied on the tax payable and not on the taxable income. In a sense, for the taxpayer, it is equivalent to a surcharge on tax.
  • A cess can be levied on both direct and indirect taxes. The revenue obtained from income tax, corporation tax, and indirect taxes can be allocated for various purposes.
  • The proceeds of all taxes and cesses are credited in the Consolidated Fund of India (CFI), an account of the Government of India.

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. Difference between Cess and Tax.
  2. Who can levy and collect cess?
  3. About BOCW Act.

Mains Link:

What is Cess? How is it different from a surcharge? Discuss.

Sources: the Hindu.

 

Topics Covered: Effect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries on India’s interests, Indian diaspora.

South China sea:


Context:

The Philippine military has ordered the deployment of more navy ships to the South China Sea amid a growing diplomatic row over a fleet of Chinese boats parked near a disputed reef- Reed Bank.

About the South China sea dispute:

It is a dispute over territory and sovereignty over ocean areas, and the Paracels and the Spratlys – two island chains claimed in whole or in part by a number of countries.

  • Alongside the fully fledged islands, there are dozens of rocky outcrops, atolls, sandbanks and reefs, such as the Scarborough Shoal.
  • Beijing often invokes the so-called nine-dash line to justify its apparent historic rights over most of the South China Sea, parts of which are also claimed by Taiwan, Malaysia, the Philippines and Brunei.
  • China has ignored a 2016 international tribunal decision that declared its assertion as without basis.

Who Claims What?

China:

claims by far the largest portion of territory – an area defined by the “nine-dash line” which stretches hundreds of miles south and east from its most southerly province of Hainan.

Vietnam:

hotly disputes China’s historical account, saying China had never claimed sovereignty over the islands before the 1940s. Vietnam says it has actively ruled over both the Paracels and the Spratlys since the 17th Century – and has the documents to prove it.

Philippines:

both the Philippines and China lay claim to the Scarborough Shoal (known as Huangyan Island in China) – a little more than 100 miles (160km) from the Philippines and 500 miles from China.

Malaysia and Brunei:

They lay claim to territory in the South China Sea that they say falls within their economic exclusion zones, as defined by UNCLOS – the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea. Brunei does not claim any of the disputed islands, but Malaysia claims a small number of islands in the Spratlys

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. Countries involved in the dispute.
  2. What is nine dash line?
  3. Disputed islands and their locations?
  4. Important straits, passes and seas in the region.
  5. What is UNCLOS?
  6. Locate Taiwan strait and Luzon Strait.

Mains Link:

Write a note on South China Sea dispute.

Sources: the Hindu.

 


Facts for Prelims:


Suez Canal:

Why in News?

A large cargo ship named ‘Ever Given’ got stuck near the southern end of the Suez Canal due to a mishap caused by bad weather. This is causing a huge jam of vessels at either end of the vital international trade artery.

Key facts:

  • The Suez Canal is an artificial sea-level waterway running north to south across the Isthmus of Suez in Egypt, to connect the Mediterranean Sea and the Red Sea.
  • The canal separates the African continent from Asia.
  • It provides the shortest maritime route between Europe and the lands lying around the Indian and western Pacific oceans.
  • It is one of the world’s most heavily used shipping lanes, carrying over 12% of world trade by volume.

Central Scrutiny Centre (CSC):

  • It is an initiative of the Corporate Affairs Ministry to scrutinise the filings by users under straight through processes.
  • The objective is to ensure that data quality is uncompromised and free from flaws.
  • CSC will primarily scrutinise the filings made by users under straight through processes, identify data quality issues and irregularities, and communicate the same to the concerned Registrar of Companies so that corrective steps can be taken to restore authenticity and correctness of data and it can be seamlessly shared with other regulators, if required.

 


Articles to be covered tomorrow:


  1. Apex court bats for women officers in Army.
  2. Development of Iconic Tourist Destinations Scheme.

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