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INSIGHTS DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS + PIB SUMMARY- 14 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 1:

1. Skymet forecasts a ‘healthy normal’ monsoon.

 

GS Paper 2:

1. Chief Election Commissioner.

2. Chandigarh drafts cycling policy.

3. Register of Indigenous Inhabitants of Nagaland (RIIN).

4. WHO urges halt on sale of live wild mammals in markets.

 

GS Paper 3:

1. Indian Rhino Vision 2020 (IRV 2020).

 

Facts for Prelims:

1. What is Uruka?

2. EVR Periyar Salai as Grand Western Trunk (GWT) Road.

3. Seroja.

4. Poshan Gyan.

5. e-SANTA.

6. Infant Toddler and Caregiver-friendly Neighbourhoods (ITCN) Training and Capacity Building Programme.

7. Aahaar Kranti.


GS Paper  :  1


 

Topics Covered: Important Geophysical phenomena such as earthquakes, Tsunami, Volcanic activity, cyclone etc.

Skymet forecasts a ‘healthy normal’ monsoon:


Context:

Skymet (a private weather forecast company) Weather report:

  1. The monsoon is likely to be 103% of the long period average (LPA) this year. The LPA refers to the average all-India monsoon rainfall of 88 cm, which is a 50-year mean.
  2. The odds of an El Nino, characterised by a heating of the equatorial central Pacific over half a degree, are low this year. Currently, the Pacific is in a [converse] La Nina mode.
  3. The plains of North India, along with a few parts of northeast India, are at risk of being rain deficient through the season.
  4. The Indian Ocean Dipole, characterised by a temperature gradient in the western and eastern Indian Ocean, is expected to be slightly on the negative. A positive dipole usually aids the monsoon.
  5. The monsoon in 2019 and 2020 was only the third time in a century of back-to-back years of above normal rainfall (rainfall that is 5% above normal, or 105%) during the season in India.

western_pacific

What is Indian Ocean Dipole?

It is an atmosphere-ocean coupled phenomenon in the tropical Indian Ocean (like the El Nino is in the tropical Pacific), characterised by a difference in sea-surface temperatures.

Key features:

  • IOD is the difference between the temperature of eastern (Bay of Bengal) and the western Indian Ocean (Arabian Sea).
  • This temperature difference results into pressure difference which results in flowing of winds between eastern and western parts of Indian Ocean.
  • A ‘positive IOD’ — or simply ‘IOD’ — is associated with cooler than normal sea-surface temperatures in the eastern equatorial Indian Ocean and warmer than normal sea-surface temperatures in the western tropical Indian Ocean.
  • The opposite phenomenon is called a ‘negative IOD’, and is characterised by warmer than normal SSTs in the eastern equatorial Indian Ocean and cooler than normal SSTs in the western tropical Indian Ocean.

Impacts:

  • Studies have shown that a positive IOD year sees more than normal rainfall over central India.
  • A negative IOD complements El NiNo leading to severe drought.
  • At the same time, Positive IOD results in more cyclones than usual in Arabian Sea.
  • Negative IOD results in stronger than usual cyclogenesis (Formation of Tropical Cyclones) in Bay of Bengal. Cyclogenesis in Arabian Sea is suppressed during this time.

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. What is El Nino?
  2. What is La Nina?
  3. What is ENSO?
  4. When do these events occur?
  5. Impact of ENSO on Asia, Africa and Australia.
  6. What is Indian Ocean Dipole?

Mains Link:

Discuss the impact of La Nina weather phenomenon on India.

Sources: the Hindu.


GS Paper  :  2


 

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

Chief Election Commissioner:


Context:

Sushil Chandra has assumed charge as the 24th chief election commissioner of India.

About Election commission of India:

The constitution under article 324 provides for an Election Commission for the superintendence, direction and control of the preparation of the electoral rolls for the conduct of elections to parliament, state legislatures and to the offices of president and vice president.

Composition Election commission of India:

The constitution provides for the following provisions in relation to the composition of the election commission:

  1. The election commission shall consist of the Chief Election Commissioner and a such number of other election commissioners, if any, as the president may from time to time fix.
  2. The appointment of the chief election commissioner and other election commissioners shall be made by the president.
  3. When any other election commissioner is so appointed the chief election commissioner shall act as the chairman of the election commission.
  4. The president may also appoint after consultation with the election commission such regional commissioners as he may consider necessary to assist the election commission.
  5. The conditions of service and tenure of office of the election commissioners and the regional commissioners shall be such as the President may by rule determine.

CEC vs ECs:

Though the Chief Election Commissioner is the chairman of the election commission, however, his powers are equal to the other election commissioners. All the matters in the commission are decided by the majority amongst its members. The Chief Election Commissioner and the two other election commissioners receive equal salary, allowances and other benefits.

Tenure:

The Chief Election Commissioner and other election commissioners hold office for 6 years or till they attain the age of 65 years, whichever is earlier. They can resign at any time by addressing their resignation to the president.

Removal:

  • They can resign anytime or can also be removed before the expiry of their term.
  • The Chief Election Commissioner can be removed from his office in the same manner and on same grounds as a judge of the Supreme Court.

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. About CEC and ECs.
  2. Appointment.
  3. Removal.
  4. Tenure.
  5. Functions.
  6. Related constitutional provisions.

Sources: PIB.

 

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

Chandigarh drafts cycling policy:


Context:

Chandigarh’s recently released first-of-its-kind draft cycling policy.

  • It is for the first time that a city has drafted a cycling policy in India. The policy has been drafted by the Chandigarh Smart City Limited.

Highlights of the Draft:

  • Safe refuge points equipped with panic buttons for women cyclists.
  • Parking space with roof outside offices.
  • Half-a-day earned leave for every seven days cycled to work.
  • Monetary incentive for a particular distance traveled.
  • Increase in non-motorized transport lanes to reduce fear of accidents.
  • Each government office/private bodies of all types must have a separate policy to encourage commuting to work by cycle.
  • To enhance safety, safe refuge points for women and persons with disabilities should be created by introducing 24X7 CCTV surveillance and panic buttons.

Need for a policy:

‘Cycling Policy’ can be a powerful tool for the government to encourage cycling in the city. It is environmentally friendly, clean and sustainable mode of transport. It has potential to be an alternative to cars for short distance travel in urban areas. Therefore, the urban transport policy must consider cycling in an integrated context with other urban travel and land use policies.

Benefits of cycling:

  1. Free of emissions and noise.
  2. Cost effective– as it can be purchased and maintained for a modest price and is also energy efficient.
  3. Low space requirements, and thus, cycling paths and parking facilities for the same can be developed at lower costs than required for cars.

Sources: Indian Express.

 

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

Register of Indigenous Inhabitants of Nagaland (RIIN):


Context:

The Nagaland government has reportedly been trying to revive the RIIN exercise.

What is RIIN?

Launched in July 2019.

The objective is to prevent outsiders from obtaining fake indigenous certificates for seeking jobs and benefits of government schemes.

  • The RIIN will be the master list of all indigenous inhabitants of the state.
  • The RIIN list will be based on “an extensive survey”.
  • It will involve official records of indigenous residents from rural and (urban) wards and would be prepared under the supervision of the district administration.

What’s the concern?

  • Locals are apprehensive of “dreadful consequences” if the “advocates of RIIN” implement the identification process with December 1, 1963 – the day Nagaland attained statehood – as the cut-off date for determining the “permanent residents” of the State. This date is likely to exclude Nagas who have come from beyond the boundaries of Nagaland.
  • They also fear that the non-indigenous Nagas could be treated as “illegal immigrants” and their lands and property confiscated.

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. About RIIN.
  2. Applicability.
  3. RIIN vs NRC.

Mains Link:

Discuss the Concerns associated with the Register of Indigenous Inhabitants of Nagaland (RIIN) exercise.

Sources: the Hindu.

 

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

WHO urges halt on sale of live wild mammals in markets:


Context:

The World Health Organization, the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) have called for a halt to the sale of live wild mammals in food markets to prevent the emergence of new diseases such as COVID-19.

Need for:

Because traditional markets play a central role in providing food and livelihoods for large populations, banning the sale of live wild mammals could protect the health of market workers and customers alike.

  • Animals, particularly wild animals, are the source of more than 70% of all emerging infectious diseases in humans, many of which are caused by novel viruses. Wild mammals, in particular, pose a risk for the emergence of new diseases.

About the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE):

  • The need to fight animal diseases at global level led to the creation of the Office International des Epizooties through the international Agreement signed on January 25th 1924.
  • In May 2003 the Office became the World Organisation for Animal Health but kept its historical acronym OIE.
  • The OIE is the intergovernmental organisation responsible for improving animal health worldwide.
  • It is recognised as a reference organisation by the World Trade Organization (WTO).
  • The organisation is placed under the authority and control of a World Assembly of Delegates consisting of Delegates designated by the Governments of all Member Countries.
  • The main objective of the OIE is to control epizootic diseases and thus to prevent their spread.

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. About WTO.
  2. About OIE.
  3. International Conventions governing trade of endangered species.

Mains Link:

Discuss why there is a need to halt the sale of live wild mammals in food markets to prevent the emergence of new diseases such as COVID-19.

Sources: the Hindu.


GS Paper  :  3


 

Topics Covered: Conservation related issues.

Indian Rhino Vision 2020 (IRV 2020):


Context:

Two adult one-horned rhinos were recently translocated from Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary to Manas National Park, under the aegis of the Indian Rhino Vision 2020 (IRV 2020).

  • With this last leg of wild-to-wild translocation under IRV2020, a total of 22 rhinos have been translocated from Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary (12) and Kaziranga National Park (10) to Manas National Park.

About the Indian Rhino Vision 2020 (IRV 2020):

Launched in 2005.

  • IRV 2020 is an initiative led by the Forest Department, Government of Assam, in partnership with WWF India, International Rhino Foundation, and several other organizations.
  • The goal of IRV2020 was to increase the rhino population in Assam to 3,000 by establishing populations in new areas.
  • Rhinos are now found in four Protected Areas in Assam: Pabitora Wildlife Reserve, Rajiv Gandhi Orang National Park, Kaziranga National Park, and Manas National Park.

About One- horned rhinos:

  • Only the Great One-Horned Rhino is found in India.
  • Also known as Indian rhino, it is the largest of the rhino species.
  • It is identified by a single black horn and a grey-brown hide with skin folds.
  • They primarily graze, with a diet consisting almost entirely of grasses as well as leaves, branches of shrubs and trees, fruit, and aquatic plants.

Protection Status:

  1. IUCN Red List: Vulnerable.
  2. Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES): Appendix I (Threatened with extinction and CITES prohibits international trade in specimens of these species except when the purpose of the import is not commercial, for instance for scientific research).
  3. Wildlife Protection Act, 1972: Schedule I.

Other Conservation Efforts by India:

  • The five rhino range nations (India, Bhutan, Nepal, Indonesia and Malaysia) have signed a declaration ‘The New Delhi Declaration on Asian Rhinos 2019’ for the conservation and protection of the species.
  • The Ministry of Environment Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC) has begun a project to create DNA profiles of all rhinos in the country.
  • National Rhino Conservation Strategy: It was launched in 2019 to conserve the greater one-horned rhinoceros.

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. Different Rhino species.
  2. One horned Rhino in India.
  3. Habitats.
  4. Conservation status.
  5. Conservation efforts.
  6. About IRV 2020.

Mains Link:

Write a note on IRV 2020.

Sources: the Hindu.

 


Facts for Prelims:


What is Uruka?

  • The day before Magh Bihu is known as Uruka, the last day of the month of Poush as per the Assamese calendar.
  • On Uruka, people erect makeshift huts called Meji from bamboo, leaves and thatch.
  • Bihu is a set of three important Assamese festivals which include Rongali or Bohag Bihu in April, Kongali or Kati Bihu in October and Bhogali or Magh Bihu, observed in January.

EVR Periyar Salai as Grand Western Trunk (GWT) Road:

  • A controversy recently erupted after EVR Periyar Salai was mentioned as Grand Western Trunk (GWT) Road on signboards.
  • Following this, Chennai Highways Department has clarified that it is the name of the road as per their records.
  • The GWT, whose old number is NH4 and also called as Poonamallee High Road, was formed and named so in the 1850s by the British.

tropical

Seroja:

  • It is a tropical cyclone formed recently near western Australian coast.
  • The name Seroja means lotus in Indonesian.

Poshan Gyan:

  • It is a national digital repository on health and nutrition.
  • Launched by NITI Aayog, in partnership with Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and Centre for Social and Behaviour Change, Ashoka University.
  • The Poshan Gyan repository is conceptualized as a resource, enabling search of communication materials on 14 thematic areas of health and nutrition across diverse languages, media types, target audiences and sources.

e-SANTA:

  • It is an electronic marketplace providing a platform to connect aqua farmers and the buyers.
  • Launched by Union Commerce Ministry.
  • It will enable the farmers to get a better price and the exporters to directly purchase quality products from the farmers enhancing traceability, a key factor in international trade.
  • The term e-SANTA was coined for the web portal, meaning Electronic Solution for Augmenting NaCSA farmers’ Trade in Aquaculture.
  • e-SANTA will ‘RAISE’ the lives & income of farmers by: Reducing Risk, Awareness of Products & Markets, Increase in Income, Shielding Against Wrong Practice and Ease of Processes.

Infant Toddler and Caregiver-friendly Neighbourhoods (ITCN) Training and Capacity Building Programme:

  • Launched by National Institute of Urban Affairs (NIUA) in partnership with Bernard van Leer Foundation (BvLF).
  • The Programme is designed to help build capacities of city officials and young professionals for developing young children and family-friendly neighbourhoods within cities in India.
  • Under the programme, city officials and young professionals are proposed to be skilled through certified training and capacity building modules.

Aahaar Kranti:

  • Aahaar Kranti is a movement to raise awareness of the importance of a nutritionally balanced diet in India.
  • The mission is run by Vijnana Bharati (Vibha) and Global Indian Scientists’ and Technocrats’ Forum (GIST).
  • The Aahaar Kranti movement is designed to address the peculiar problem being faced by India and the world called “hunger and diseases in abundance”.


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