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INSIGHTS DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS + PIB SUMMARY- 16 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 1:

1. UNFPA’s population report.

 

GS Paper 2:

1. Centre to push judges’ appointments.

2. Overseas Citizens of India (OCI).

3. National Startup Advisory Council.

4. What is Vaccine Nationalism?

5. Kulbhushan Jadhav case.

 

GS Paper 3:

1. UN Food Systems Summit 2021.

2. National Internet Exchange of India (NIXI).

 

Facts for Prelims:

1. RBI sets up authority to review regulations.

2. Paris Call for Trust and Security in Cyberspace.


GS Paper  :  1


 

Topics Covered: Women related issues.

UNFPA’s population report:


Context:

Recently, The United Nations Population Fund’s (UNFPA) Flagship State of World Population Report 2021 titled ‘My Body is My Own’ was launched.

  • This is the first time a United Nations report has focused on bodily autonomy.

What is bodily autonomy?

  • The report defined ‘Bodily autonomy’ as the power and agency to make choices about your body without fear of violence or having someone else decide for you.

Highlights of the report:

  • Nearly half the women from 57 developing countries do not have the right to make decisions regarding their bodies, including using contraception, seeking healthcare or even on their sexuality.
  • In countries where data is available, only 55% of women are fully empowered to make choices over healthcare, contraception and the ability to say yes or no to sex.
  • Only 75% of countries legally ensure full and equal access to contraception.
  • Women around the world are denied the fundamental right of bodily autonomy with the COVID-19 pandemic further exacerbating this situation.

Facts about India in the Report:

  • In India, according to NFHS-4 (2015-2016), only about 12% of currently married women (15-49 years of age) independently make decisions about their own healthcare.
  • For a quarter of women (23%), it is the spouse that mainly takes decisions about healthcare.
  • Information provided to women about use of contraception is also limited.

About United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA):

It is the United Nations sexual and reproductive health agency.

  • The organization was created in 1969, the same year the United Nations General Assembly declared “parents have the exclusive right to determine freely and responsibly the number and spacing of their children.”
  • UNFPA’s mission is to deliver a world where every pregnancy is wanted, every childbirth is safe and every young person’s potential is fulfilled.

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. About UNFPA.
  2. Reports.
  3. What is bodily autonomy?
  4. Key findings of the latest report.

Mains Link:

Comment on the key findings of the report.

Source: The Hindu.


GS Paper  :  2


 

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

Centre to push judges’ appointments:


Context:

The Union government has offered to decide in three months the Supreme Court Collegium recommendations for appointment of judges in the High Courts pending with it for over half a year.

Does the Constitution of India specify any deadline for the appointment of judges?

No. The Memorandum of Procedure guides the government and the judiciary through the appointment process. The procedure does not insist on a deadline but only loosely says the process should be completed within a reasonable time.

Collegium System:

It is the system of appointment and transfer of judges that has evolved through judgments of the SC, and not by an Act of Parliament or by a provision of the Constitution.

  • The SC collegium is headed by the CJI and comprises four other senior most judges of the court.
  • A HC collegium is led by its Chief Justice and four other senior most judges of that court.

Related Constitutional Provisions:

  1. Article 124(2) of the Indian Constitution provides that the Judges of the Supreme Court are appointed by the President after consultation with such a number of the Judges of the Supreme Court and of the High Courts in the States as the President may deem necessary for the purpose.
  2. Article 217 of the Indian Constitution states that the Judge of a High Court shall be appointed by the President consultation with the Chief Justice of India, the Governor of the State, and, in the case of appointment of a Judge other than the Chief Justice, the Chief Justice of the High Court.

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. What is collegium?
  2. How are Judges of Supreme Court and high courts appointed?
  3. Appointment of retired judges.
  4. Related constitutional provisions.
  5. Powers and functions.

Mains Link:

Discuss the issues associated with collegium system for the appointment of judges.

Sources: the Hindu.

 

Topics Covered: Indian Constitution- historical underpinnings, evolution, features, amendments, significant provisions and basic structure.

Overseas Citizens of India (OCI):


Context:

Union Home Ministry has clarified that the Overseas Citizens of India (OCI) will not be required to register for a fresh OCI card every time a new passport is issued in their name.

Background:

At present, the OCI card is required to be reissued each time a new passport is issued up to 20 years of age and once after completing 50 “in view of biological changes in the face of the applicant”.

As per the latest changes:

  1. A person who has got registration as OCI cardholder prior to attaining the age of 20 years will have to get the OCI card reissued only once when a new passport is issued after his/her completing 20 years of age, so as to capture his/her facial features on attaining adulthood.
  2. If a person has obtained registration as OCI cardholder after attaining the age of 20 years, there will be no requirement of reissue of the OCI card.

Who are OCI cardholders?

  • Government of India launched the ‘Overseas Citizenship of India (OCI) Scheme’ by making amendments to Citizenship Act, 1955 in 2005.
  • On 09 January 2015, the Government of India discontinued the PIO card and merged it with OCI card.

Eligibility:

Government of India allows the following categories of foreign nationals to apply for OCI Card.

eligible

Exceptions:

Anyone who is applying for OCI card should hold a valid Passport of another country.

  • Individuals who do not have citizenship of any other country are not eligible to gain an OCI status.
  • Individuals whose parents or grandparents hold citizenship of Pakistan and Bangladesh are not eligible to apply.

Benefits for OCI cardholders:

  1. Lifelong Visa to visit India multiple times. (special permission needed for research work in India).
  2. No need to register with Foreigners Regional Registration Officer (FRRO) or Foreigners Registration Officer (FRO) for any length of stay.
  3. Except for acquisition of agricultural and plantation properties, OCI card holders have similar facilities that are extended to NRIs in economic, financial and educational fields.
  4. Same treatment as of NRIs in respect to Inter-country adoption of Indian children.
  5. Also treated at par with NRIs regarding – entry fees for national monuments, practice of professions like doctors, dentists, nurses, advocates, architects, Chartered Accountants & Pharmacists.
  6. At par with NRIs to participate in All India Pre-medical tests and such.
  7. Treated at par with Indian citizens in matters of traffic in airfares in Indian domestic sectors.
  8. Same entry fee as for Indians for entry into India’s national parks and wildlife sanctuaries.
  9. OCI booklet can be used as identification to avail services. An affidavit can be attached with local address as residential proof.

There are certain restrictions placed on OCI card holders:

  1. Do not have right to vote.
  2. Do not have right to any public service/government jobs
  3. Cannot hold offices of – Prime Minister, President, Vice -President, Judge of Supreme Court and High Court, member of Parliament or Member of state legislative assembly or council.
  4. Cannot own agricultural property.

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. Definition of Citizen.
  2. POI vs OCI vs NRI.
  3. Who can grant and revoke citizenship?
  4. Dual citizenship in India.
  5. Applicability of right to vote and contest in elections for OCI card holders.
  6. Can OCI holders buy agricultural land?
  7. Who cannot be issued OCI cards?

Mains Link:

Who are overseas citizens of India? What are the benefits available for OCI card holders? Discuss.

Sources: the Hindu.

 

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

National Startup Advisory Council:


Context:

The first meeting of the National Startup Advisory Council (NSAC) was held recently.

What is the NSAC?

  • Constituted by the ‘Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT).
  • Its role is to advise the Government on measures needed to build a strong ecosystem for nurturing innovation and startups in the country to drive sustainable economic growth and generate large scale employment opportunities.

Functions of NSAC:

  • Suggest measures to foster a culture of innovation amongst citizens and students.
  • Promote innovation in all sectors of economy across the country, including semi-urban and rural areas.
  • Support creative and innovative ideas through incubation and research and development to transform them into valuable products.

Structure of NSAC:

  • The National Startup Advisory Council will be chaired by the Minster for Commerce & Industry.
  • The Council will consist of the non-official members, to be nominated by the Central Government.
  • The nominees of the concerned Ministries/Departments/Organisations, not below the rank of Joint Secretary to the Government of India, will be ex-officio members of the Council.

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. NSAC.
  2. Composition.
  3. Functions.

Sources: PIB.

 

Topics Covered: Issues related to health.

What is Vaccine Nationalism?


Context:

The All India People’s Science Network (AIPSN) has said vaccine nationalism was a “wholly misconceived” idea and it must be given up.

What’s the issue?

The Centre has imposed some restrictions on exports, potentially undoing the goodwill earned earlier by free supply of vaccines to friendly developing countries and by its substantial contribution to the international COVAX programme to supply vaccines to lower-income countries.

What is vaccine nationalism?

  • Vaccine nationalism occurs when a country manages to secure doses of vaccine for its own citizens or residents before they are made available in other countries.
  • This is done through pre-purchase agreements between a government and a vaccine manufacturer.

How was it used in the past?

Vaccine nationalism is not new. During the early stages of the 2009 H1N1 flu pandemic, some of the wealthiest countries entered into pre-purchase agreements with several pharmaceutical companies working on H1N1 vaccines.

  • At that time, it was estimated that, in the best-case scenario, the maximum number of vaccine doses that could be produced globally was two billion.
  • The US alone negotiated and obtained the right to buy 600,000 doses. All the countries that negotiated pre-purchase orders were developed economies.

Why its not good? What are the associated concerns?

  1. Vaccine nationalism is harmful for equitable access to vaccines.
  2. It further disadvantages countries with fewer resources and bargaining power.
  3. It deprives populations in the Global South from timely access to vital public health goods.
  4. Taken to its extreme, it allocates vaccines to moderately at-risk populations in wealthy countries over populations at higher risk in developing economies.

What needs to be done?

International institutions — including the WHO — should coordinate negotiations ahead of the next pandemic to produce a framework for equitable access to vaccines during public health crises.

Equity entails both, affordability of vaccines and access opportunities for populations across the world, irrespective of geography and geopolitics.

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. What is vaccine nationalism?
  2. Which drugs are being used in the treatment of COVID 19 disease?
  3. Various tests to detect SARS- COV 2.
  4. What is H1N1?

Mains Link:

What is Vaccine Nationalism? What are the concerns associated? Discuss.

Sources: the Hindu.

 

Topics Covered: India and its neighbourhood- relations.

India restores e-visa for 156 countries:


Context:

The Union Home Ministry has restored the electronic visa (e-visa) facility for foreigners from 156 countries who intend to visit India for business, conferences and medical reasons, including for medical attendants.

Background:

It was available to people of 171 countries before restrictions were announced in 2020.

What is e-visa?

  • An e-visa is provided in five categories — tourist, business, conference, medical, and medical attendant.
  • Under the arrangement, a foreigner can apply online four days prior to travel.
  • After the details are verified, an electronic travel authorisation (ETA) is generated, which has to be presented at the immigration checkpost on arrival.
  • Entry through e-visas is allowed only at 28 designated international airports and five major seaports in India.

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. What is e-visa?
  2. Eligibility.
  3. Benefits.

Mains Link:

Write a note on e-visa scheme.

Sources: the Hindu.

 

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

Kulbhushan Jadhav case:


Context:

The Islamabad High Court has asked the Foreign Office to clear India’s “misunderstanding” about the court’s jurisdiction to hear the Kulbhushan Jadhav case to implement the verdict of the International Court of Justice (ICJ).

What’s the case?

  • Jadhav, the 50-year-old retired Indian Navy officer, was sentenced to death by a Pakistani military court on charges of espionage and terrorism in April 2017.
  • India approached the ICJ against Pakistan for denial of consular access to Jadhav and challenging the death sentence.
  • ICJ ruled in July 2019 that Pakistan must undertake an “effective review and reconsideration” of the conviction and sentence of Jadhav, and also grant consular access to India without further delay.
  • The ICJ, in its 2019 verdict, had asked Pakistan to provide a proper forum for appeal against the sentence given to the retired officer by the military court.

Key observations made by the ICJ:

  • Islamabad has violated Article 36 of Vienna Convention of Consular Relations, 1963, by not informing India about Jadhav’s arrest immediately after Pakistan Army had taken him into custody.
  • India had been deprived of ‘right to communicate with and have access to Jadhav, to visit him in detention and to arrange for his legal representation’.

About ICJ:

  • ICJ was established in 1945 by the United Nations charter and started working in April 1946.
  • It is the principal judicial organ of the United Nations, situated at the Peace Palace in The Hague (Netherlands).
  • Unlike the six principal organs of the United Nations, it is the only one not located in New York (USA).
  • It settles legal disputes between States and gives advisory opinions in accordance with international law, on legal questions referred to it by authorized United Nations organs and specialized agencies.

Structure:

  • The Court is composed of 15 judges, who are elected for terms of office of nine years by the United Nations General Assembly and the Security Council. These organs vote simultaneously but separately.
  • In order to be elected, a candidate must receive an absolute majority of the votes in both bodies.
  • In order to ensure a measure of continuity, one third of the Court is elected every three years and Judges are eligible for re-election.
  • ICJ is assisted by a Registry, its administrative organ. Its official languages are English and French.

The 15 judges of the Court are distributed in following regions:

  1. Three from Africa.
  2. Two from Latin America and Caribbean.
  3. Three from Asia.
  4. Five from Western Europe and other states.
  5. Two from Eastern Europe.

Independence of judges:

Unlike other organs of international organizations, the Court is not composed of representatives of governments. Members of the Court are independent judges whose first task, before taking up their duties, is to make a solemn declaration in open court that they will exercise their powers impartially and conscientiously.

Jurisdiction and Functioning:

  • ICJ acts as a world court with two fold jurisdiction i.e. legal disputes between States submitted to it by them (contentious cases) and requests for advisory opinions on legal questions referred to it by United Nations organs and specialized agencies (advisory proceedings).
  • Only States which are members of the United Nations and which have become parties to the Statute of the Court or which have accepted its jurisdiction under certain conditions, are parties to contentious cases.
  • The judgment is final, binding on the parties to a case and without appeal (at the most it may be subject to interpretation or, upon the discovery of a new fact, revision).

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. Differences between ICJ and ICC.
  2. Geographical locations of these organisations and overview of surrounding countries.
  3. Doha accord between US and Taliban.
  4. What is Rome statute?

Mains Link:

Write a note on ICJ.

Sources: the Hindu.


GS Paper  :  3


 

Topics Covered: Food security related issues.

UN Food Systems Summit 2021:


Context:

India Holds National Dialogue on UN Food Systems Summit 2021.

What is the Food Systems Summit?

  • The United Nations Secretary General has called for the first ever UN Food Systems Summit to be held in September 2021.
  • It seeks to strategize the actions for positive change in Agri-food systems in the World to realize the vision of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
  • The Summit will focus on levers and pathways to shape food systems nationally and globally to accelerate progress in the SDGs.

Why food systems?

The term “food system” refers to the constellation of activities involved in producing, processing, transporting and consuming food.

  • Food systems touch every aspect of human existence.
  • The health of our food systems profoundly affects the health of our bodies, as well as the health of our environment, our economies and our cultures.
  • When they function well, food systems have the power to bring us together as families, communities and nations.

Need for:

Various challenges in food and related systems have further added to the need for reorienting our actions and strategies beyond specific cropping or farming systems to entire Agri-food systems covering production, distribution and consumption.

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. SDGs vs MDGs- similarities, differences and time period.
  2. Adoption and administration of these goals.
  3. United Nations Conference on the Human Environment vs Earth Summit.
  4. About the Food Systems Summit.

Mains Link:

Enumerate the principal goals and targets of Sustainable Development Goals.

Sources: PIB.

 

Topics Covered: Cyber security related issues.

National Internet Exchange of India (NIXI):


Context:

NIXI has announced to play a supporting role for the IPv6 awareness and adoption in the country along with the Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology (MeitY).

About NIXI:

National Internet Exchange of India (NIXI) is a not-for-profit organization.

It has been working since 2003 for spreading the internet infrastructure to the citizens of India through the following activities:

  1. Internet Exchanges through which the internet data is exchanged amongst ISP’s, Data Centers.
  2. .IN Registry, managing and operation of .IN country code domain and .भारत IDN domain for India.
  3. IRINN, managing and operating Internet protocol (IPv4/IPv6).

Sources: PIB.

 


Facts for Prelims:


RBI sets up authority to review regulations:

  • The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has set up the Regulations Review Authority 2.0.
  • The authority will review regulatory prescriptions internally as well as by seeking suggestions from RBI-regulated entities for simplification and ease of implementation.
  • Deputy Governor M. Rajeshwar Rao has been appointed as the Regulations Review Authority. The authority would have validity for a period of one year from May 1.
  • The RBI had set up a similar authority in 1999 for reviewing regulations, circulars, reporting systems.

Paris Call for Trust and Security in Cyberspace:

Microsoft president Brad Smith has urged India and the U.S. to join the Paris Call for Trust and Security in Cyberspace that now has 75 countries on board to deal with new cybersecurity threats facing the world.

  • The Paris Call for Trust and Security in Cyberspace is a nonbinding declaration.
  • It calls for states, the private sector, and civil society organizations to work together to promote security in cyberspace, counter disinformation, and address new threats endangering citizens and infrastructure.
  • The Paris Call was sent in 2018 by the President of the French Republic, Emmanuel Macron, during the Internet Governance Forum held at UNESCO and the Paris Peace Forum.

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