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INSIGHTS DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS + PIB SUMMARY- 8 April 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. 

 

 

Table of Contents:

GS Paper 2:

1. Film Certificate Appellate Tribunal (FCAT).

2. Centre seeks nod to close Italian marines case.

 

GS Paper 3:

1. G-SAP: Securities acquisition plan for market boost.

2. Govt. mulling ways to boost yield from poppy.

3. Device to diagnose dengue within an hour.

4. What is net-zero, and what are India’s objections?

 

Facts for Prelims:

1. World Health Day.

2. Madhu Kranti portal.

3. Anamaya.

4. Baisakhi.

5. Red sea.


GS Paper  :  2


 

Topics Covered: Statutory, regulatory and various quasi-judicial bodies.

Film Certificate Appellate Tribunal (FCAT):


Context:

The government by an ordinance has abolished the Film Certificate Appellate Tribunal (FCAT).

The Tribunals Reforms (Rationalisation And Conditions Of Service) Ordinance, 2021, which came into effect on April 4, amends the Cinematograph Act, 1952 by omitting some sections and replacing the word “Tribunal” with “High Court” in other sections.

About FCAT:

  • FCAT was a statutory body constituted by the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting in 1983, under the Cinematograph Act, 1952.
  • Its main job was to hear appeals filed under Section 5C of the Cinematograph Act, by applicants for certification aggrieved by the decision of the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC).
  • Composition: The tribunal was headed by a chairperson and had four other members, including a Secretary appointed by the Government of India to handle. The Tribunal was headquartered in New Delhi.

Implications of the move:

The abolition means filmmakers will now have to approach the High Court whenever they want to challenge a CBFC certification, or lack of it.

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. About CBFC.
  2. Composition.
  3. About FCAT.
  4. Decisions of FCAT.
  5. About the Cinematograph Act, 1952.

Mains Link:

Discuss the roles and functions of FCAT.

Sources: Indian Express.

 

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

Centre seeks nod to close Italian marines case:


Context:

The government has asked the Supreme Court to schedule an urgent hearing of its application to close the criminal trials pending in India against two Italian marines accused of killing two fishermen off the coast of Kerala in 2012.

Background:

Girone and Latorre, who were detained on the Italian ship Enrica Lexie, allegedly shot the fishermen thinking they were ‘pirates’.

What’s the case?

In a virtual hearing in August last year, the court had made it clear that it would close the criminal trial of the Marines in India only after the victims’ families were heard and paid a ‘hefty’ compensation. The court had asked the government to negotiate an ‘adequate’ compensation for the slain fishermen’s families with Italy.

What has the government said?

Eight months ago, the Centre had informed the apex court about its decision to “accept and abide” by an international tribunal’s award that the Marines should be tried in their native Italy.

  • The government had explained that India was bound by the award of the arbitral tribunal formed under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).
  • The award was “final and without appeal” as India was a party to the UN Convention.

What had the tribunal held?

  • In a close 3:2 vote, the tribunal ruled that the Italian marines enjoyed diplomatic immunity as Italian state officials under the United Nations Convention on the Law of Sea.
  • Taking note of the “commitment expressed by Italy” to resume its criminal investigation into the incident, the tribunal said India must cease to exercise its jurisdiction.

enrica

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. PCA- composition, functions and members.
  2. What is UNCLOS?
  3. Articles 87, 90 and 100 of UNCLOS are related to?
  4. About International Tribunal for Law of the Sea (ITLOS).
  5. What is NIA?
  6. About the Permanent Court of Arbitration.
  7. Article 253 of the Indian Constitution.

Mains Link:

Discuss the functions and significance of PCA.

Sources: the Hindu.


GS Paper  :  3


 

Topics Covered: Indian Economy and issues relating to planning, mobilization of resources, growth, development and employment.

G-SAP: Securities acquisition plan for market boost:


Context:

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has put in place a secondary market Government Security Acquisition Programme (G-SAP) 1.0 for orderly evolution of the yield curve in FY22.

  • Under the programme, the central bank will purchase government bonds of worth Rs 1 trillion (or one lakh crores of rupees).

Significance:

  • The GSAP 1.0 will provide more comfort to the bond market. As the borrowing of the Government increased this year, RBI has to ensure there is no disruption in the Indian market.
  • The programme will help to reduce the spread between repo rate and the ten-year government bond yield.
  • The G-SAP will almost serve the purpose of an OMO calendar, which had been on the bond market’s wish list for a long time.

What is OMO?

Open market operations is the sale and purchase of government securities and treasury bills by RBI or the central bank of the country.

The objective of OMO is to regulate the money supply in the economy.

  • It is one of the quantitative monetary policy tools.

How is it done?

RBI carries out the OMO through commercial banks and does not directly deal with the public.

OMOs vs liquidity:

  • When the central bank wants to infuse liquidity into the monetary system, it will buy government securities in the open market. This way it provides commercial banks with liquidity.
  • In contrast, when it sells securities, it curbs liquidity. Thus, the central bank indirectly controls the money supply and influences short-term interest rates.

RBI employs two kinds of OMOs:

Outright Purchase (PEMO) – this is permanent and involves the outright selling or buying of government securities.

Repurchase Agreement (REPO) – this is short-term and are subject to repurchase.

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. Monetary vs Fiscal policy tools.
  2. Quantitative vs Qualitative tools.
  3. What are OMOs?
  4. PEMO vs REPO.

Mains Link:

What are OMOs? Discuss their significance.

Sources: Indian Express.

 

Topics Covered: Major crops cropping patterns in various parts of the country, different types of irrigation and irrigation systems storage, transport and marketing of agricultural produce and issues and related constraints; e-technology in the aid of farmers.

Govt. mulling ways to boost yield from poppy:


Context:

The Union government has decided to rope in the private sector to commence production of concentrated poppy straw from India’s opium crop to boost the yield of alkaloids.

  • Alkaloids are used for medical purposes and exported to several countries.

Cultivation of opium:

Only a few countries are permitted to cultivate the opium poppy crop for export and extraction of alkaloids.

India currently only extracts alkaloids from opium gum at facilities controlled by the Revenue Department in the Finance Ministry. This entails farmers extracting gum by manually lancing the opium pods and selling the gum to government factories.

Background:

India’s opium crop acreage has been steadily declining over the years and using the CPS extraction method is expected to help cut the occasional dependence on imports of products like codeine (extracted from opium) for medicinal uses.

Sources: the Hindu.

 

Topics Covered: Achievements of Indians in science & technology; indigenization of technology and developing new technology.

Device to diagnose dengue within an hour:


Context:

Researchers at the Indian Institute of Technology Delhi have developed a handheld Surface Enhanced Raman Spectroscopy (SERS)-based platform for early diagnosis of dengue and also gives dengue test results within one hour (rapid diagnosis).

  • The research work was funded by IMPRINT India programme of the Ministry of Education.

Need for early diagnosis:

Early diagnosis of dengue is the key to prevent deterioration of a patient’s health. However, conventional diagnostic tools like nucleic acid detection using Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR) is a time-taking process and it also requires expensive equipment and reagents for the diagnosis of dengue.

What is SERS?

It is a surface-sensitive technique that enhances Raman scattering by molecules adsorbed on rough metal surfaces or by nanostructures such as plasmonic-magnetic silica nanotubes.

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. About CV Raman and his key contributions.
  2. What is Raman effect?
  3. What is SERS?
  4. Difference between Rayleigh scattering and Raman scattering.
  5. What is Raman Spectroscopy?
  6. About IMPRINT India Programme.

Mains Link:

Write a note on Raman Spectroscopy.

Sources: the Hindu.

 

Topics Covered: Conservation related issues.

What is net-zero, and what are India’s objections?


Context:

In its bid to reclaim the global climate leadership, the US is widely expected to commit itself to a net-zero emission target for 2050 at the upcoming virtual Climate Leaders’ Summit convened by US President Joe Biden.

Other countries committed to net- zero:

Several other countries, including the UK and France, have already enacted laws promising to achieve a net-zero emission scenario by the middle of the century. Even China has promised to go net-zero by 2060.

The European Union is working a similar Europe-wide law, while many other countries including Canada, South Korea, Japan and Germany have expressed their intention to commit themselves to a net-zero future.

What is net-zero?

Net-zero, which is also referred to as carbon-neutrality, does not mean that a country would bring down its emissions to zero. Rather, net-zero is a state in which a country’s emissions are compensated by absorption and removal of greenhouse gases from the atmosphere.

  • Absorption of the emissions can be increased by creating more carbon sinks such as forests, while removal of gases from the atmosphere requires futuristic technologies such as carbon capture and storage.

A call for net-zero:

A very active campaign has been going on for the last two years to get every country to sign on to a net-zero goal for 2050. It is being argued that global carbon neutrality by 2050 is the only way to achieve the Paris Agreement target of keeping the planet’s temperature from rising beyond 2°C compared to pre-industrial times.

  • The net-zero formulation does not assign any emission reduction targets on any country.

Net-zero and the Paris agreement:

The net-zero goal does not figure in the 2015 Paris Agreement, the new global architecture to fight climate change.

  • The Paris Agreement only requires every signatory to take the best climate action it can.
  • Countries need to set five- or ten-year climate targets for themselves, and demonstrably show they have achieved them.
  • The other requirement is that targets for every subsequent time-frame should be more ambitious than the previous one.

What about India? What are its objections?

India, the world’s third biggest emitter of greenhouse gases, after the US and China, is the only major player holding out.

India is the only one opposing this target because it is likely to be the most impacted by it.

Challenges unique to India:

  1. Over the next two to three decades, India’s emissions are likely to grow at the fastest pace in the world, as it presses for higher growth to pull hundreds of millions of people out of poverty.
  2. No amount of afforestation or reforestation would be able to compensate for the increased emissions.
  3. Most of the carbon removal technologies right now are either unreliable or very expensive.

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. About the Climate Leaders’ Summit.
  2. What is net-zero?
  3. Countries committed to net-zero.
  4. About Paris Agreement.

Sources: Indian Express.

 


Facts for Prelims:


World Health Day:

  • 7th April is observed as World Health Day.
  • The day is observed to mark the formation of the World Health Organisation (WHO) on this day in 1948.
  • Theme: “Building a fairer, healthier world for everyone”.

Madhu Kranti portal:

  • Madhu Kranti portal is an initiative of the National Bee Board (NBB), Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare under the National Beekeeping & Honey Mission (NBHM).
  • This portal is being developed for online registration to achieve traceability source of honey and other beehive products on a digital platform.

Anamaya:

  • Anamaya is a tribal health collaborative supported by Piramal Foundation and Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF).
  • It will converge efforts of various government agencies and organisations to enhance the health and nutrition status of the tribal communities of India.
  • The initiative is committed to ending preventable deaths in the tribal communities.

Baisakhi:

  • Pakistan High Commission has issued over 1,100 visas to Sikh pilgrims from India to participate in the annual Baisakhi celebrations.
  • Under the framework of the Pakistan-India protocol on visits to religious shrines, a large number of Sikh pilgrims from India visit Pakistan to observe various religious festivals every year.
  • Baisakhi marks the beginning of Hindu solar New year. Vaisakhi marks the first day of the month of Vaisakha, is usually celebrated on 13 or 14 April every year and is a historical and religious festival in Sikhi.

Red sea:

The Red Sea (also the Erythraean Sea) is a seawater inlet of the Indian Ocean, lying between Africa and Asia. The connection to the ocean is in the south through the Bab el Mandeb strait and the Gulf of Aden. To the north lie the Sinai Peninsula, the Gulf of Aqaba, and the Gulf of Suez (leading to the Suez Canal). The sea is underlain by the Red Sea Rift which is part of the Great Rift Valley.

The salinity of the Red Sea is greater than the world average, approximately 4 percent. This is due to several factors:

  1. Lack of significant rivers or streams draining into the sea.
  2. Limited connection with the Indian Ocean, which has lower water salinity.
  3. High rate of evaporation and very little precipitation.

 

Articles to be covered tomorrow:

  1. Incentives for solar energy sector.
  2. RBI extends fresh support of ₹50,000 cr. to NABARD, others.

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