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INSIGHTS DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS + PIB SUMMARY- 23 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. Gender bias and inclusion in advertising in India.

2. Armenian Genocide.

 

GS Paper 2:

1. Swine fever.

2. fifth session of the Codex Committee on Spices and Culinary Herbs (CCSCH).

 

GS Paper 3:

1. NASA’s Perseverance mission has extracted oxygen on Mars.

2. Earth Day 2021.

3. WhatsApp privacy policy.

 

Facts for Prelims:

1. FOSS4GOV Innovation Challenge.

2. KRI Nanggala.


GS Paper  :  1


 

Topics Covered: Women related issues.

Gender bias and inclusion in advertising in India:


Context:

“Gender bias and inclusion in advertising in India” is a study released recently by UNICEF and the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media.

  • The research measures over 1,000 television and YouTube advertisements aired across India in 2019. The ads analysed were those that received the most reach.

Key findings (Have a brief overview):

  • While they are superior to global benchmarks insofar as girls and women have parity of representation in terms of screen and speaking time, their portrayal is problematic as they further gender stereotypes.
  • They are more likely than male characters to be shown as married, less likely to be shown in paid occupation, and more likely to be depicted as caretakers and parents.
  • Female characters are more likely to be shown doing the following activities than male characters — shopping (4.1% compared with 2.3%); cleaning (4.8% as against 2.2%); and being involved in the purchase or preparation of meals (5.4% against 3.9%).
  • For characters where intelligence is part of their character in the ad, male characters are more likely to be shown as smart than female characters (32.2% compared to 26.2%).
  • Two-thirds of female characters (66.9%) in Indian ads have light or medium-light skin tones. Female characters are also invariably thin.

What’s the issue and concern?

While we do see female representation dominate in Indian ads, they are still marginalised by colorism, hypersexualisation, and without careers or aspirations outside of the home.

Misrepresentation and harmful stereotypes of women in advertising have a significant impact on women — and young girls — and how they view themselves and their value to society.

  • The stark inequality must be addressed to ensure an equitable society.

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. About UNICEF.
  2. Its functions and members.
  3. Highlights of the report.

Mains Link:

Misrepresentation and harmful stereotypes of women in advertising have a significant impact on women and young girls. Comment.

Sources: the Hindu.

 

Topics Covered: World History.

Armenian Genocide:


Context:

US President Joe Biden is preparing to formally acknowledge the Armenian Genocide.

  • Every year, Armenian Genocide Remembrance Day will be marked on April 24.

What is the Armenian Genocide?

While Turkey disagrees, the consensus among historians is that during the Armenian Genocide, between 1915 to 1922, in the First World War, thousands of Armenians perished due to killings, starvation and disease, when they were deported by Ottoman Turks from eastern Anatolia.

  • The International Association of Genocide Scholars estimates that more than 1 million Armenians may have died.

Why is the acknowledgement significant?

Researchers say that the acknowledgement by the US government would have little legal impact on Turkey, other than becoming a cause for embarrassment for the country and perhaps giving other countries the impetus to also acknowledge the genocide.

  • However, this acknowledgement in the international community may be unwelcome and unpalatable for Turkey.

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. About World War 1.
  2. Key events during the war.
  3. What is Armenian Genocide?

Mains Link:

Discuss how acknowledgement of Armenian Genocide affects Turkey.

Sources: Indian Express.


GS Paper  :  2


 

Topics Covered: Issues related to health.

Swine fever:


Context:

Certain areas in four districts of Mizoram have been declared as epicentres of the African swine fever (ASF) that has so far killed 1,119 pigs in a month.

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”.

swine_fever

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.

 

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

Fifth session of the Codex Committee on Spices and Culinary Herbs (CCSCH):


Context:

The session was recently inaugurated by the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI).

  • CCSCH has been established under Codex Alimentarius Commission (CAC).

About the Codex Committee on Spices and Culinary Herbs (CCSCH):

  • Formed in 2013.
  • Its main function is to elaborate worldwide standards for spices and culinary herbs in their dried and dehydrated state in whole, ground, and cracked or crushed form.
  • It will also consult, as necessary, with other international organizations in the standards development process to avoid duplication.
  • India is the host country and Spices Board (Ministry of Commerce and Industry) is the Secretariat for organising the sessions of the committee.

About the Codex Alimentarius Commission (CAC):

It is an intergovernmental body established jointly by the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) and the World Health Organisation (WHO) in 1963, within the framework of the Joint Food Standards Programme.

  • The Secretariat of the CAC is hosted at FAO headquarters in Rome.
  • It was established to protect the health of consumers and ensure fair practices in the food trade.
  • It meets in regular session once a year alternating between Geneva and Rome.
  • Currently, it has 189 Codex Members.

Codex Alimentarius:

  • It is a collection of international food standards that have been adopted by the CAC.
  • The Standards cover all the main foods, whether processed, semi-processed or raw, materials used in the further processing of food products.
  • Codex provisions concern the hygienic and nutritional quality of food, including microbiological norms, food additives, pesticide and veterinary drug residues.

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. About Codex Alimentarius.
  2. About CAC.
  3. What is CCSCH?

Mains Link:

Write a note on the Codex Committee on Spices and Culinary Herbs (CCSCH).

Sources: PIB.


GS Paper  :  1


 

Topics Covered: Awareness in space.

NASA’s Perseverance mission has extracted oxygen on Mars:


Context:

A device aboard the rover was able to produce oxygen from the thin Martian atmosphere for the first time.

  • It promises hope for future crewed missions that can rely on this technology for astronauts to breathe and return to Earth.

Composition of Martian Atmosphere:

On Mars, carbon dioxide makes up ~96% of the gas in the planet’s atmosphere. Oxygen is only 0.13%, compared to 21% in Earth’s atmosphere.

How did Perseverance produce oxygen on Mars?

The Mars Oxygen In-Situ Resource Utilization Experiment (MOXIE) produced 5 grams of oxygen from carbon dioxide in the Martian atmosphere, enough for an astronaut to breathe for 10 minutes.

  • Like a tree on Earth, MOXIE inhales carbon dioxide and exhales oxygen.
  • To produce oxygen, MOXIE separates oxygen atoms from carbon dioxide molecules. It does so by using heat at a temperature of around 800 degrees Celsius.
  • In the process, it also produces carbon monoxide as a waste product, which it releases in the Martian atmosphere.

About MOXIE:

  • A technology demonstrator, MOXIE is designed to generate up to 10 grams of oxygen per hour, and is placed inside the Perseverance rover.
  • It is the size of a car battery, weighing 37.7 pounds (17.1 kg) on Earth, but just 14.14 pounds (6.41 kg) on Mars.
  • Over the next two years, MOXIE is expected to extract oxygen nine more times.

Why is producing oxygen on the Red Planet so important?

Oxygen supply on Mars is essential for crewed missions to Mars– not just for astronauts to breathe but for rockets to use as fuel while coming back to Earth.

  • As per NASA, for four astronauts to take off from Mars, a future mission would require around 7 metric tons of rocket fuel and 25 metric tons of oxygen– around the weight of an entire space shuttle.
  • In contrast, astronauts living and working on Mars would require far less oxygen to breathe, maybe around one metric ton.
  • Thus, it will be an enormous challenge to haul the 25 metric tons of oxygen from Earth to Mars for the return journey, and that their job would become significantly easier if the liquified oxygen can be produced on the Red Planet.

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. Missions to Mars.
  2. Perseverance- objectives.
  3. Instruments onboard.
  4. About MOXIE.
  5. About the UAE’s Hope and China’s Tianwen-1 spacecraft.
  6. Pathfinder mission.

Sources: Indian Express.

 

Topics Covered: Conservation related issues.

Earth Day 2021:


Context:

Observed on April 22 every year.

  • The year 2021 marks the 51st anniversary of the annual celebrations.
  • This year’s theme for Earth Day is ‘Restore Our Earth’.

About the Earth Day:

  • First observed in 1970.
  • The event was triggered by the 1969 Santa Barbara oil spill, as well as other issues such as smog and polluted rivers.
  • In 2009, the United Nations designated 22nd April as ‘International Mother Earth Day’.
  • Earth Day is now globally coordinated by ORG, which is a non profit organisation.
  • The Paris Agreement was also signed on Earth Day 2016.

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. About Earth Day.
  2. Significance.
  3. Objectives.
  4. About Paris Agreement.
  5. ‘International Mother Earth Day’ objectives.

Mains Link:

Discuss the significance of Earth Day.

Sources: Indian Express.

 

Topics Covered: Cyber security related issues.

Whatsapp privacy policy:


Context:

The Delhi High Court has dismissed plea of instant messaging app WhatsApp challenging a decision of the Competition Commission of India (CCI) calling for an investigation into its controversial new privacy policy.

What’s the issue?

WhatsApp had contended that since the issue of its privacy policy was before the Supreme Court, the CCI did not need to order the probe. Facebook, which owns Whatsapp, had also filed a similar petition challenging decision.

What has the CCI said?

The CCI had argued the probe order was made to gauge whether access to data would lead to abuse of dominant position.

The commission had said it was dealing with Whatsapp’s new privacy policy that could lead to “excessive data collection” of consumers, the use and sharing of the data in anti-competitive context.

Key Features of the Privacy Policy:

Information Sharing with Third Party Services: When users rely on third-party services or other Facebook Company Products that are integrated with our Services, those third-party services may receive information about what you or others share with them.

Hardware Information: WhatsApp collects information from devices such as battery level, signal strength, app version, browser information, mobile network, connection information (including phone number, mobile operator or ISP) among others.

Deleting the Account: If someone only deletes the WhatsApp app from their device without using the in-app delete my account feature, then that user’s information will remain stored with the platform.

Data Storage: WhatsApp mentions that it uses Facebook’s global infrastructure and data centers including those in the United States to store user data. It also states that the data in some cases will be transferred to the United States or other parts where Facebook’s affiliate companies are based.

Location: Even if a user does not use their location-relation features, Whatsapp collects IP addresses and other information like phone number area codes to estimate your general location (city, country).

Payment Services: WhatsApp says that if anyone uses their payments services they will process additional information about you, including payment account and transaction information.

Issues and concerns:

  1. The new Whatsapp policy contradicts the recommendations of the Srikrishna Committee report, which forms the basis of the Data Protection Bill 2019.
  2. The principle of Data Localisation, which aims to put curbs on the transfer of personal data outside the country, may come in conflict with WhatsApp’s new privacy policy.
  3. With the updated privacy policy, WhatsApp can now share one’s metadata, essentially everything beyond the conversation’s actual text.
  4. If users disagree with the messaging platform’s updated privacy policy, they will have to quit WhatsApp when the new terms of service are set to come into effect.

Sources: the Hindu.

 


Facts for Prelims:


#FOSS4GOV Innovation Challenge:

  • The Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology has announced a #FOSS4GOV Innovation Challenge to accelerate adoption of Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) In Government.
  • The #FOSS4GOVInnovation Challenge calls upon FOSS innovators, technology entrepreneurs and Indian Startups to submit implementable open source product innovations with possible applications for Govtech in Health, Education, Agriculture, Urban Governance etc.

KRI Nanggala:

  • It is an Indonesian submarine which went missing recently.
  • The submarine was reportedly exercising in a location 25 miles north of Bali.
  • The Indian Navy has dispatched its deep submergence rescue vessel (DSRV) from Visakhapatnam to support the Indonesian Navy in the search and rescue efforts.

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