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INSIGHTS DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS + PIB SUMMARY- 03 May 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. Climate change causing a shift in Earth’s axis.

2. How to measure unpaid care work and address its inequalities?

 

GS Paper 2:

1. CEC moves Supreme Court against Madras HC’s comments.

2. Scheme of Financial Assistance to States for Capital Expenditure.

 

Facts for Prelims:

1. Article 311.

2. P-8I patrol aircraft.

3. Xylophis deepaki.

4. World Press Freedom Day.

5. Vorukh.

6. Odisha declares journalists as ‘frontline COVID-19 warriors’.


GS Paper  :  1


 

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

Climate change causing a shift in Earth’s axis:


Context:

According to a study, due to the significant melting of glaciers because of global temperature rise, our planet’s axis of rotation has been moving more than usual since the 1990s.

Implications:

While this change is not expected to affect daily life, it can change the length of the day by a few milliseconds.

What is the Earth’s axis?

The Earth’s axis of rotation is the line along which it spins around itself as it revolves around the Sun. The points on which the axis intersects the planet’s surface are the geographical north and south poles.

How it shifts?

The location of the poles is not fixed, however, as the axis moves due to changes in how the Earth’s mass is distributed around the planet. Thus, the poles move when the axis moves, and the movement is called “polar motion”.

  • According to NASA, data from the 20th century shows that the spin axis drifted about 10 centimetres per year. Meaning over a century, polar motion exceeds 10 metres.
  • Generally, polar motion is caused by changes in the hydrosphere, atmosphere, oceans, or solid Earth.

What the new study says?

  • Since the 1990s, climate change has caused billions of tonnes of glacial ice to melt into oceans. This has caused the Earth’s poles to move in new directions.
  • As per the study, the north pole has shifted in a new eastward direction since the 1990s, because of changes in the hydrosphere (meaning the way in which water is stored on Earth).
  • From 1995 to 2020, the average speed of drift was 17 times faster than from 1981 to 1995. Also, in the last four decades, the poles moved by about 4 metres in distance.

Latest factors behind this change:

  • The faster ice melting, change in non‐glacial regions due to climate change and unsustainable consumption of groundwater for irrigation and other anthropogenic activities.
  • As millions of tonnes of water from below the land is pumped out every year for drinking, industries or agriculture, most of it eventually joins the sea, thus redistributing the planet’s mass.

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. Earth’s poles.
  2. Differences between geographic and magnetic poles.
  3. Causes for shifts.
  4. Implications.

Mains Link:

How climate change results in shift in Earth’s axis? Discuss.

Sources: Indian Express.

 

Topics Covered: Women related issues.

How to measure unpaid care work and address its inequalities?


Context:

Recent election manifestos had promised various forms of payment to homemakers, thus putting the spotlight on the unpaid domestic work done by women.

What is unpaid care work?

According to the OECD, it refers to all unpaid services provided within a household for its members, including care of persons, housework and voluntary community work. These activities are considered work because theoretically one could pay a third person to perform them.

What’s the issue now?

Standard measures of economic activity do not take into account a large portion of this work, much of which is done by women and girls.

  • McKinsey estimates that women do 75% of the world’s total unpaid care work.
  • The economic contribution of women is 17% of India’s GDP — less than half the global average.
  • This inequality has a direct correlation with participation in the formal economy.

Implications for India:

India has slipped 28 places to rank 140th among 156 countries in the World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap Report 2021.

  • Among the drivers of this decline is a decrease in women’s labour force participation rate, which fell from 24.8 per cent to 22.3 per cent.
  • Earned income of women in India is only one-fifth of men’s, which puts the country among the bottom 10 globally on this indicator.

What needs to be done?

  1. Policies should address the rising need for care and tackle the huge disparity between women’s and men’s care responsibilities.
  2. More data will make more unpaid care work visible and help frame targeted policies and enable better monitoring of the impact of policies and investments.
  3. Reduce unpaid care work by investment in physical infrastructure like clean water and sanitation, energy and public transport, and in social infrastructure such as care and health services and education.
  4. Redistribution of care work between men and women, and between families and the state will encourage positive social norms and economic development.

Measuring and monetising care work:

The value of unpaid work can be estimated by calculating the amount of time spent on it – through time use surveys – and then putting a price on it by calculating the opportunity cost or replacement cost, or by measuring the labour inputs that go into the activity. But this has its own challenges.

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. Global Gender Gap Report- Highlights.
  2. India’s performance.

Mains Link:

Standard measures of economic activity do not take into account a large portion of this work, much of which is done by women and girls. Discuss its implications.

Sources: Indian Express.


GS Paper  :  2


 

Topics Covered: Separation of powers between various organs dispute redressal mechanisms and institutions.

CEC moves Supreme Court against Madras HC’s comments:


Context:

The Chief Election Commissioner of India has appealed to the Supreme Court through a Special Leave Petition against the oral comments attributed to the judges of the Madras High Court on the poll body and its officials, portraying them as responsible for the surge in the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • CEC urged the court to direct the police not to register cases for murder against Election Commission officials or take any coercive action on the basis of media reports on oral observations attributed to the High Court judges.

What’s the issue?

  • Madras High Court had recently made some oral comments against the Election commission and its officials, portraying them as responsible for the surge in the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • It has also been reported that the judge called for concerned officers to be put up for murder charges.
  • Now, the Election Commission wants to obtain an order from the Madras High Court to gag the media from reporting oral observations made by judges during the hearing of elections-related cases.

Need for:

  • Oral comments would impact or lower the faith of the masses in the poll body and the democratic process.
  • It is also not justified in the least for an independent constitutional authority to make allegations against another which would effectively tarnish the image of the latter.

Article 136 in the Constitution Of India:

Special leave to appeal by the Supreme Court:

  1. Notwithstanding anything in this Chapter, the Supreme Court may, in its discretion, grant special leave to appeal from any judgment, decree, determination, sentence or order in any cause or matter passed or made by any court or tribunal in the territory of India.
  2. Nothing in clause ( 1 ) shall apply to any judgment, determination, sentence or order passed or made by any court or tribunal constituted by or under any law relating to the Armed Forces.

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. What is Special Leave Petition?
  2. Article 136.
  3. About CEC.

Mains Link:

Write a note on special leave petition.

Sources: the Hindu.

 

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

Scheme of Financial Assistance to States for Capital Expenditure:


Context:

The Ministry of Finance, Government of India has decided to provide an additional amount of upto ₹15,000 crore to States as interest free 50 year loan for spending on capital projects.

  • The Department of Expenditure has issued fresh guidelines in this regard on the “Scheme of Financial Assistance to States for Capital Expenditure” for the financial year 2021-22.

Allocation under the scheme:

  1. The first part of scheme is for North-east and hill states and an amount of ₹2,600 crore has been earmarked.
  2. The second part of scheme is for all other states with an amount of ₹7,400 crore. This amount has been allocated among states in proportion to their share of central taxes as per the award of 15th Finance Commission for 2021-22.
  3. The third part of scheme is for providing incentives to states for monetisation or recycling of infrastructure assets and disinvestment of state public sector enterprises. An amount of ₹5,000 crore is allocated.

Background:

Under the scheme, financial assistance is provided to state governments in the form of 50-year interest free loan.

  • An amount not exceeding ₹12,000 crore was earmarked for 2020-21 and a sum of ₹11,830.29 crore was released.
  • This helped to sustain state level capital expenditure in the pandemic year.

Sources: the Hindu.

 


Facts for Prelims:


Article 311:

J&K govt. teacher dismissed under Article 311 without inquiry.

  • Article 311 deals with dismissal, removal or reduction in rank of persons employed in civil capacities under the Union or a State.
  • Article 311(2), sub clause (c) notes that where the President or the Governor, as the case may be, is satisfied that in the interest of the security of the State, it is not expedient to hold such inquiry into the allegations against a person, enquiry may be skipped.

P-8I patrol aircraft:

U.S. clears sale of six P-8I patrol aircraft to India.

  • P-8I is a long-range, multi-mission maritime patrol aircraft manufactured by Boeing for the Indian Navy.
  • The P-8I aircraft is designed to protect the vast coastline and territorial waters of India.
  • It can conduct anti-submarine warfare, intelligence, maritime patrol, and surveillance and reconnaissance missions.

Xylophis deepaki:

  • It is a new snake species discovered recently in Tamil Nadu.
  • It is a tiny snake of just 20 cm length with iridescent scales.
  • The species is named in honour of Indian herpetologist Deepak Veerappan for his contribution in erecting a new subfamily Xylophiinae to accommodate wood snakes.
  • Wood snakes are harmless, sub-fossorial and often found while digging soil in farms and under the logs in the Western Ghat forests.

World Press Freedom Day:

  • 3 May, the anniversary of the Declaration of Windhoek is celebrated worldwide as World Press Freedom Day.
  • Proclaimed by the UN General Assembly in December 1993, following the recommendation of UNESCO’s General Conference.
  • Theme: “Information as a Public Good”.

Vorukh:

  • It is a jamoat in northern Tajikistan. It is an exclave surrounded by Kyrgyzstan that forms part of the city of Isfara in Sughd Region.
  • Jamoats are the third-level administrative divisions, similar to communes or municipalities, in the Central Asian country of Tajikistan.

Why in News?

Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan border tension.

Odisha declares journalists as ‘frontline COVID-19 warriors’:

Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik recently declared working journalists of the state as ‘Frontline COVID-19 Warriors’ and announced an ex-gratia of Rs 15,00,000 to the next of kin of a journalist who succumbed to novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) infection.


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