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INSIGHTS DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS + PIB SUMMARY- 9 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. 

current affairs, current events, current gk, insights ias current affairs, upsc ias current affairs

Table of Contents:

GS Paper 2:

1. Appointment of ad hoc judges.

2. What is the Darbar Move in J&K all about?

3. SARTHAQ.

4. ‘Double mutant’ strain named B.1.617.

5. African swine fever.

 

GS Paper 3:

1. RBI extends fresh support of ₹50,000 cr. to NABARD.

2. Incentives for solar energy sector.

3. Civil defence volunteers.

 

Facts for Prelims:

1. U.K. to set up fund for migrants from Hong Kong.

2. Gyanvapi Mosque.


GS Paper  :  2


 

Topics Covered: Appointment to various Constitutional posts, powers, functions and responsibilities of various Constitutional Bodies.

Appointment of ad hoc judges:


Context:

The Supreme Court has agreed that a plan to appoint retired judges on an ad hoc basis to reduce pendency in the High Courts should not become an excuse to stop or further delay the appointment process of regular judges.

Need for:

As on April 1, the High Courts have a total vacancy of 411 regular judges against the sanctioned judicial strength of 1,080. The working strength in the High Courts is 669.

Observations made by the Court:

The Chief Justices of the High Courts should opt for ad hoc judges only if their efforts to fill the judicial vacancies in their respective High Courts have hit a wall, even as pendency has reached the red zone. Ad hoc judges should not be appointed in lieu of regular recommendations.

Need of the hour:

A procedure should be adopted explaining when a Chief Justice can initiate the appointment of an ad hoc judge; what should be the threshold of pendency for such appointments; for how long should such ad hoc judges continue; what should be their allowances, etc.

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. Related constitutional provisions.
  3. Powers and functions.
  4. 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: Separation of powers between various organs dispute redressal mechanisms and institutions.

What is the Darbar Move in J&K all about?


Context:

A tradition of a century and a half is set to be broken in Jammu and Kashmir, with only “sensitive records” being taken from Jammu to Srinagar this summer, unlike in previous years when the entire administration and records would be shifted during “Durbar Move”.

What is Darbar Move?

  • It is a century-old practice in which the government functioned for six months each in the two capitals of the erstwhile State, Srinagar and Jammu.
  • The practice was reportedly started in the late 19th century by Ranbir Singh, the Maharaja of Jammu and Kashmir.
  • The Durbar Move was started to take the administration to the doorstep of the people of Kashmir which is closer to Ladakh.
  • The practice also enabled greater interaction and bonding among the people of Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh.

Criticisms surrounding:

  • The ‘Darbar Move’ results in wastage of tremendous amount of time, efforts and energy on inefficient and unnecessary activity.
  • It is taxing for security forces too. It nurtures inefficiency and leads to lack of governance.
  • The same negatively impacts justice dispensation and impedes judicial administration.
  • It also causes delay in justice dispensation as government records are not available to the pleaders in one region for six months at a time.
  • Valuable documents and resources of the Union Territory in the nature of important and sensitive government documents are put to tremendous risk in the process of their transportation as they are packed in trunks and carried in hired trucks over a distance of 300 km between Jammu and Srinagar and vice-versa twice a year.

What has the High Court said?

Last year, the Jammu & Kashmir High Court observed that there was no legal justification or constitutional basis for the Darbar Move tradition.

  • Pointing out that the practice has resulted in wastage of tremendous amount of time, efforts and energy on inefficient and unnecessary activity, a Division Bench observed that valuable resources of the state (financial and physical) cannot be diverted to completely non-essential usage when the Union Territory in unable to provide even basic essentials to its people.
  • The court recommended that in case the practice was rationalised, the resources and time saved could be utilised towards the welfare and development of the UT; the money saved could also be used to address Covid-related issues like food shortage, unemployment and healthcare.

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. Important mountain ranges and passes in UT of J&K.
  2. Roads and tunnels connecting Jammu and Srinagar.
  3. Why was it given special provisions in the constitution?
  4. What is Darbar Move?

Mains Link:

Discuss the issues surrounding Darbar Move.

Sources: Indian Express.

 

Topics Covered: Issues related to education.

SARTHAQ:


Context:

Recently, the education minister released an indicative and suggestive implementation plan for school education called SARTHAQ.

What is ‘Students’ and Teachers’ Holistic Advancement through Quality Education or SARTHAQ?

  • Launched in pursuance of the goals of NEP2020 and to assist States/UTs in this task.
  • The programme aims at providing an all-around development for the students at the primary and secondary level.
  • It will also establish a safe, secure, inclusive and conducive learning environment for students as well as teachers.
  • The major focus is to define activities in such a manner which clearly delineate goals, outcomes and timeframe i.e., it links recommendation of NEP with 297 Tasks along with responsible agencies, timelines and 304 outputs of these tasks.”

The plan is being implemented to meet the following aims of NEP 2020:

  1. It will pave way for curriculum reforms including new national and state curriculum frameworks for school education as well as early childhood care and education.
  2. The programme will focus on the improvement of the enrollment ratio of children at all levels and a reduction in dropouts and out of school children.
  3. It will provide access to quality ECCE and Universal Acquisition of Foundational Literacy and Numeracy by Grade 3.
  4. It will implement vocational education, sports, arts, knowledge of India, 21st-century skills, values of citizenship, awareness of environment conservation in the curriculum.
  5. It will focus on experimental learning.
  6. It will also improve the quality of Teacher Education Programmes.

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. About NEP.
  2. Key features.
  3. What is SARTHAQ?

Mains Link:

Discuss the significance of the National Education Policy.

Sources: PIB.

 

Topics Covered: Issues related to health.

‘Double mutant’ strain named B.1.617:


Context:

The “double mutant” virus that scientists had flagged last month as having a bearing on the spread of the pandemic in India, has a formal scientific classification: B.1.617.

  • The variant is common in India — how much in every State is unclear though — and has a couple of defining mutations, E484Q and L425R, that enable it to become more infectious and evade antibodies.

What’s the concern now?

Some studies show that these mutations could even make the coronavirus resistant to T cells, a class of cells necessary to target and destroy virus-infected cells.

Why do viruses mutate?

A mutation just means a difference; a letter change in the genome.

  • Mutations in viruses are a natural part of evolution.
  • The pressure on the virus to evolve is increased by the fact that so many millions of people have now been infected.

In the case of SARS-CoV-2, which is an Ribonucleic acid (RNA) virus, a mutation means a change in the sequence in which its molecules are arranged.

  • A mutation in an RNA virus often happens when the virus makes a mistake while it is making copies of itself.

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. What is Covid 19?
  2. What is mutation?
  3. What is mRNA?
  4. What is RT- PCR test?

Mains Link:

Discuss the concerns associated with mutations of Covid- 19 virus.

Sources: the Hindu.

 

Topics Covered: Issues related to health.

African swine fever:


Context:

An outbreak of suspected African swine fever (ASF) has killed 276 domestic pigs in Lunglei district of Mizoram.

  • As a part of the preventive measures, the local authorities have restricted the procurement and supply of pigs from and to the affected area and the district beyond.

About African Swine Fever (ASF):

  • ASF is a highly contagious and fatal animal disease that infects domestic and wild pigs, typically resulting in an acute form of hemorrhagic fever.
  • It was first detected in Africa in the 1920s.
  • The mortality is close to 100 per cent, and since the fever has no cure, the only way to stop it spreading is by culling the animals.
  • ASF is not a threat to human beings since it only spreads from animals to other animals.
  • According to the FAO, “its extremely high potential for transboundary spread has placed all the countries in the region in danger and has raised the spectre of ASF once more escaping from Africa. It is a disease of growing strategic importance for global food security and household income”.

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. Difference between Swine fever and swine flu?
  2. Can swine fever affect humans?
  3. Is it a viral disease?
  4. Where was it first discovered?
  5. Which countries have been affected by this in 2020?
  6. Is there any vaccine available against this?

Mains Link:

Write a note African Swine Fever, symptoms and its spread.

Sources: the Hindu.


GS Paper  :  3


 

Topic covered: Inclusive growth and issues arising from it.

RBI extends fresh support of ₹50,000 cr. to NABARD:


Context:

To help mitigate the impact of the pandemic and aid economic revival, the RBI said it would extend fresh support of ₹50,000 crore to the All India Financial Institutions for new lending in FY22.

 Details:

  • Accordingly, NABARD will be provided a special liquidity facility (SLF) of ₹25,000 crore for one year to support agriculture and allied activities, the rural non-farm sector and non-banking financial companies-micro finance institutions.
  • An SLF of ₹10,000 crore will be extended to the National Housing Bank for one year to support the housing sector.
  • SIDBI will be provided ₹15,000 crore under this facility for up to one year for funding of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs).

About NABARD:

  • It is an apex development and specialized bank established on 12 July 1982 by an act by the parliament of India.
  • Its main focus is to uplift rural India by increasing the credit flow for elevation of agriculture & rural non farm sector.
  • It was established based on the recommendations of the Committee set up by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) under the chairmanship of Shri B. shivaraman.
  • It replaced the Agricultural Credit Department (ACD) and Rural Planning and Credit Cell (RPCC) of Reserve Bank of India, and Agricultural Refinance and Development Corporation (ARDC).
  • It has been accredited with “matters concerning policy, planning and operations in the field of credit for agriculture and other economic activities in rural areas in India”.

Important functions:

  1. It provides refinance support for building rural infrastructure.
  2. It prepares district level credit plans to guiding and motivating the banking industry in achieving these targets.
  3. It supervises Cooperative Banks and Regional Rural Banks (RRBs) and helping them develop sound banking practices and integrate them to the CBS (Core Banking Solution) platform.
  4. It provides training to handicraft artisans and helps them in developing a marketing platform for selling these articles.

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. About NABARD.
  2. Roles and functions.
  3. What are RRBs?
  4. What is CBS?

Sources: the Hindu.

 

Topics Covered: Infrastructure- energy.

Incentives for solar energy sector:


Context:

The Union Cabinet has approved two production-linked incentive schemes for:

  1. White goods (air-conditioners and LED lights).
  2. High-efficiency solar photovoltaic modules.

About the PLI scheme:

  • The prime objective of the PLI scheme is to make manufacturing in India globally competitive by removing sectoral disabilities, creating economies of scale and ensuring efficiencies.
  • It is designed to create complete component ecosystem in India and make India an integral part of the global supply chains.
  • The scheme would extend an incentive of 4% to 6% on incremental sales of goods made in India for five years.

Benefits:

  • Additional 10,000 MW capacity of integrated solar PV manufacturing plants.
  • Direct investment of around Rs.17,200 crore in solar PV manufacturing projects.
  • Demand of Rs.17,500 crore over 5 years for ‘Balance of Materials’.
  • Direct employment of about 30,000 and Indirect employment of about 1,20,000 persons.
  • Import substitution of around Rs.17,500 crore every year.
  • Impetus to Research & Development to achieve higher efficiency in solar PV modules.

Sources: PIB.

 

Topics Covered: Internal security related issues.

Civil defence volunteers:


Context:

The Delhi Police recently issued a statement, pointing out that civil defence personnel, also known as Delhi Civil Defence (DCD) volunteers, have no power to stop people using police barricades and prosecute them for violation of Covid-19 appropriate behaviour such as not wearing masks.

What’s the issue?

  • From being lauded for their work during the pandemic to facing allegations of high-handedness, the role of the civil defence volunteers in the national capital has come under intense scrutiny in the recent past.
  • One such incident recently turned into a full blown fist-fight between a group of civil defence personnel and general public near IIT-Delhi.

So, who are these civil defence volunteers?

In Delhi, these are men and women who work under the command of the district magistrates.

The overall command lies with the divisional commissioner, to which the DMs report.

These volunteers are governed by the Civil Defence Act, 1968.

What is civil defence? 

  • According to the Civil Defence Act, 1968, civil defence is defined as any measure “not amounting to actual combat, that protects persons, property and places in India from hostile attack”.
  • The 2010 amendment expanded the definition by including disaster management as one of the responsibilities.

Basic role of the volunteers:

To assist the local administration. During the pandemic, the volunteers assumed the role of frontline workers by way of participating in screening hotspots and distributing food for the needy. In the recent months, DCD volunteers have also been deployed to ensure social distancing in markets and other crowded places and also at vaccination sites.

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. Who are civil defence volunteers?
  2. Roles and functions.
  3. Appointment.
  4. Accountability.

Mains Link:

Discuss the issues associated with the roles and functions of civil defence volunteers in Delhi.

Sources: Indian Express.

 


Facts for Prelims:


U.K. to set up fund for migrants from Hong Kong:

  • The British government is setting up a £43 million ($59 million) fund to help migrants from Hong Kong settle in the country as they escape increasing political repression in the former colony.
  • The offer extends to holders of British National (Overseas) passports who have been offered special visas, opening a path to work, residency and eventual citizenship to up to 5 million of Hong Kong’s 7.4 million people.

hong_kong

Gyanvapi Mosque:

A local court in Varanasi has directed the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) to conduct a survey of the Gyanvapi Mosque, adjacent to the Kashi Vishwanath Temple, to find out whether it was a “superimposition, alteration or addition or if there is structural overlapping of any kind, with any other religious structure”.

What’s the issue?

The order came on a petition demanding restoration of the land on which the Gyanvapi Mosque stands to the Hindus, claiming that Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb had pulled down parts of the old Kashi Vishwanath Temple to build the mosque.

 

Articles to be covered tomorrow:

1. SC turns down release of Rohingya in Jammu.


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