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INSIGHTS DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS + PIB SUMMARY- 15 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. Mongolian Kanjur.

2. Basava Jayanti.

3. Cyclone ‘Tauktae’.

 

GS Paper 2:

1. Why not place convicts under house arrest, asks SC.

2. Special Window for Affordable & Mid-Income Housing (SWAMIH).

3. BRICS Employment Working Group (EWG) Meeting.

 

GS Paper 3:

1. PM-Kisan scheme.

 

Facts for Prelims:

1. India’s first Olympic-bound Fencer Bhavani Devi.

2. Indicative Notes.

3. Punjab gets its 23rd district, Malerkotla.

4. Goa Maritime Symposium (GMS) – 2021.

5. Red-eared slider.


GS Paper  :  1


 

Topics Covered: Indian culture will cover the salient aspects of Art Forms, Literature and Architecture from ancient to modern times.

Mongolian Kanjur Manuscripts:


Context:

The Culture Ministry has informed that reprinting of about 100 sets of sacred Mongolian Kanjur will be completed by next year for distribution in the main centres of Buddhism in Mongolia.

What is Mongolian Kanjur?

In the Mongolian language ‘Kanjur’ means ‘Concise Orders’- the words of Lord Buddha in particular.

  • It is held in high esteem by Mongolian Buddhists and they worship the Kanjur at temples and recite the lines of Kanjur in daily life as a sacred ritual.
  • The Mongolian Kanjur has been translated from Tibetan. The language of the Kanjur is Classical Mongolian.

Historical connection between India and Mongolia:

  • Historical interaction between India and Mongolia goes back centuries.
  • Buddhism was carried to Mongolia by Indian cultural and religious ambassadors during the early Christian era.
  • As a result, today, Buddhists form the single largest religious denomination in Mongolia.
  • India established formal diplomatic relations with Mongolia in 1955.

Background:

India possesses an estimate of ten million manuscripts, probably the largest collection in the world. These cover a variety of themes, textures and aesthetics, scripts, languages, calligraphies, illuminations and illustrations.

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. Where is Mongolia?
  2. When was National Mission for Manuscripts (NMM) launched? Objectives?
  3. Mongolian Kanjur- meaning and significance.
  4. Diplomatic relations between India and Mongolia.
  5. Various Buddhist Mudras, hand gestures and their meaning.

Mains Link:

Discuss the significance of Mongolian Kanjur manuscripts.

Sources: PIB.

 

Topics covered: Indian culture will cover the salient aspects of Art Forms, Literature and Architecture from ancient to modern times.

Basava Jayanti:


Context:

Basava Jayanti marks the birth anniversary of Lord Basavanna, the 12th-century poet-philosopher, and the founding saint of the Lingayat faith.

  • This year it falls on 14th May 2021.

About Basavanna, his thoughts and contributions:

  • Basavanna was a philosopher, statesman, Kannada poet and a social reformer during the reign of the Kalachuri-dynasty king Bijjala I in Karnataka.
  • Basavanna spread social awareness through his poetry, popularly known as
  • Basavanna rejected gender or social discrimination, superstitions and rituals.
  • He introduced new public institutions such as the Anubhava Mantapa (or, the “hall of spiritual experience”), which welcomed men and women from all socio-economic backgrounds to discuss spiritual and mundane questions of life, in open.
  • As a leader, he developed and inspired a new devotional movement named Virashaivas, or “ardent, heroic worshippers of Shiva”. This movement shared its roots in the ongoing Tamil Bhakti movement, particularly the Shaiva Nayanars traditions, over the 7th- to 11th-century.
  • Basava championed devotional worship that rejected temple worship and rituals led by Brahmins, and replaced it with personalized direct worship of Shiva through practices such as individually worn icons and symbols like a small linga.
  • The Sharana movement he presided over attracted people from all castes, and like most strands of the Bhakti movement, produced a corpus of literature, the vachanas, that unveiled the spiritual universe of the Veerashaiva saints.
  • The egalitarianism of Basavanna’s Sharana movement was too radical for its times.

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. What is Shramana tradition?
  2. What are Vachanas?
  3. What is Anubhava Mantapa?
  4. Who are Kalachuris?
  5. Who are Nayanars?
  6. What is Bhakti Movement?

Mains Link:

Write a note on important contributions made by 12th Century reformer Basavanna to the society.

Sources: PIB.

 

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

Cyclone ‘Tauktae’:


Context:

Cyclone Tauktae, currently centered over Lakshadweep, has intensified into a cyclonic storm.

  • It is likely to intensify further into a severe cyclonic storm in the next 24 hours.
  • It is very likely to move north-northwestwards and reach near Gujarat coast by May 18.

india_metrological_dep

Background:

The World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) maintains rotating lists of names.

The word Tauktae has been suggested by Myanmar, which means ‘gecko’, a distinctively vocal lizard, in the Burmese language.

  • The name is the fourth from a new list of 169 names released by the IMD last year.

How are cyclones named?

  • A WMO/ESCAP (World Meteorological Organisation/United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific) Panel on Tropical Cyclones agreed in principle to assign names to the tropical cyclones in the Bay of Bengal and the Arabian Sea during its 27th session held in Muscat, Sultanate of Oman, in 2000.
  • The naming of the tropical cyclones over the north Indian Ocean commenced from September 2004, with names provided by eight members, starting with Bangladesh, followed by India. Since then, another five countries have joined the Panel.
  • The Regional Specialised Meteorological Centre (RSMC), New Delhi is responsible for naming the cyclonic storms formed over the Bay of Bengal and the Arabian Sea when they reach the relevant intensity.

There are six RSMCs in the world, including the IMD and five Tropical Cyclone Warning Centres.

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. Factors responsible for the genesis of cyclones.
  2. Naming of cyclones in various regions of the world.
  3. Why are there more cyclones in Eastern coast of India?
  4. What is coriolis force?
  5. What is the latent heat of condensation?

Mains Link:

Discuss the factors responsible for the formation of tropical cyclones.

Sources: the Hindu.


GS Paper  :  2


 

Topics Covered: Separation of powers.

Why not place convicts under house arrest, asks SC?


Context:

The Supreme Court has asked the legislature to think over the idea of placing convicts under house arrest to avoid overcrowding of prisons.

Background:

The 206-page judgment was based on a plea for default bail filed by activist Gautam Navlakha on the ground that he had spent several days in house arrest.

Need for:

  • Overcrowding of prisons- occupancy rate in prisons climbed to 118.5% in 2019.
  • Increasing number of undertrials- 3,30,487 in 2019, which constituted 69.05% of the total number of prisoners.
  • A very large sum (₹6818.1 crore) was the budget on prisons.
  • The spread of COVID-19.

Sources: the Hindu.

 

Topics Covered: Welfare schemes for vulnerable sections of the population by the Centre and States and the performance of these schemes; mechanisms, laws, institutions and bodies constituted for the protection and betterment of these vulnerable sections.

Special Window for Affordable & Mid-Income Housing (SWAMIH):


Context:

Centre’s Special Window for Affordable & Mid-Income Housing (SWAMIH) has completed its first residential project.

  • The residential project — Rivali Park in suburban Mumbai — is the first housing project in India to have received funding under the SWAMIH Fund.

About SWAMIH Fund:

  • The SWAMIH Fund was launched by Sitharaman in November 2019.
  • SWAMIH Investment Fund has been formed to complete construction of stalled, RERA-registered affordable and mid-income category housing projects which are stuck due to paucity of funds.
  • The fund was set up as a Category-II AIF (Alternate Investment Fund) debt fund registered with SEBI.
  • The Investment Manager of the Fund is SBICAP Ventures, a wholly-owned subsidiary of SBI Capital Markets, which in turn is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the State Bank of India.
  • The Sponsor of the Fund is the Secretary, Department of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Finance.

 Who will be the investors of the fund?

AIFs created/funded under the Special Window would solicit investment into the fund from the Government and other private investors including cash-rich financial institutions, sovereign wealth funds, public and private banks, domestic pension and provident funds, global pension funds and other institutional investors.

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. What is an Alternative Investment Fund? Types?
  2. Investment Manager of the SWAMIH Fund?
  3. Sponsor of the fund?
  4. Who can invest?
  5. What will it be used for?

Sources: PIB.

 

Topics Covered: Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests.

BRICS Employment Working Group (EWG) Meeting:


Context:

1st BRICS Employment Working Group (EWG) Meeting was held recently at New Delhi in virtual format.

  • India has assumed BRICS Presidency this year.

The prime agenda for the discussions were:

Promoting Social Security Agreements amongst BRICS Nations, Formalization of labour markets, Participation of women in labour force and Gig and platform workers – Role in labour market.

Outcomes of the meeting:

  • On the issue of Social Security Agreement (SSA), the Member Nations resolved to enter into dialogue and discussion with each other and take it forward towards signing of the agreements.
  • The International Labour Organization (ILO) and International Social Security Agency (ISSA) on their part, expressed willingness to provide technical support in facilitating conclusion of such agreements.

What are SSAs?

  • SSA is a bilateral agreement between India and a foreign country designed to protect the interests of cross border workers.
  • The agreement provides for avoidance of ‘double coverage’ and ensures equality of treatment to workers of both countries from a social security perspective.

Background:

As on date, India has signed SSAs with 18 countries.

SSAs broadly provide the following three benefits:

  1. Avoiding making of double social security contributions by the workers (detachment).
  2. Easy remittance of benefits (Exportability).
  3. Aggregating the contribution periods (in two countries) to prevent loss of benefits (Totalization).
  4. Provide for disability insurance benefits to the Indian nationals working abroad.

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. About BRICS.
  2. Important organizations associated with BRICS.
  3. What are SSAs?

Mains Link:

Discuss the significance of SSAs.

Sources: PIB.


GS Paper  :  3


 

Topics Covered: Issues related to direct and indirect farm subsidies and minimum support prices; Public Distribution System objectives, functioning, limitations, revamping; issues of buffer stocks and food security; Technology missions.

PM-Kisan scheme:


Context:

The eighth instalment of minimum financial benefit under the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi (PM-KISAN) scheme has been released.

  • This was the first instalment of PM Kisan Samman Nidhi for the financial year 2021-22.

About PM-Kisan scheme:

  • It is a central sector scheme with 100 per cent funding from the Government of India. The scheme was launched in December 2018.
  • Under the scheme, income support of ₹6,000 per year in three equal installments of ₹2000 is provided to small and marginal farmers having a combined land holding of up to two hectares.
  • The state governments and Union Territory administration identify the farmers who are eligible for the scheme and share the list with the Centre.

Ambit:

The Scheme initially provided income support to all Small and Marginal Farmers’ families across the country, holding cultivable land upto 2 hectares. Its ambit was later expanded w.e.f. 01.06.2019 to cover all farmer families in the country irrespective of the size of their land holdings.

Exceptions:

Affluent farmers have been excluded from the scheme such as Income Tax payers in last assessment year, professionals like Doctors, Engineers, Lawyers, Chartered Accountants etc and pensioners pensioners drawing at least Rs.10,000/- per month (excluding MTS/Class IV/Group D employees).

Similar programmes by states:

  1. Bhavantar Bhugtan Yojana- MP.
  2. The Rythu Bandhu scheme- Telangana.
  3. Krushak Assistance for Livelihood and Income augmentation (KALIA)- Odisha.

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. PM KISAN- eligibility.
  2. About Bhavantar Bhugtan Yojana.
  3. About Rythu Bandhu scheme.
  4. About KALIA scheme.

Sources: PIB.

 


Facts for Prelims:


India’s first Olympic-bound Fencer Bhavani Devi:

  • Sabre Fencer Bhavani Devi has created history by becoming the first Indian fencer to qualify for the Olympic Games.
  • She won a quota through the Adjusted Official Ranking (AOR) method after the Budapest World Cup in March.

Indicative Notes:

  • It is a new feature on the Supreme Court’s website.
  • It aims to provide concise summaries of landmark judgments in an easy-to-understand format.
  • This will serve as a useful resource for media persons and the general public who wish to be better informed about the rulings of the court.

Punjab gets its 23rd district, Malerkotla:

Getting Malerkotla declared as an independent district was a long pending demand of the Muslim community and the residents of the town. The town has a predominant Muslim population.

Goa Maritime Symposium (GMS) – 2021:

  • Indian Navy recently hosted ‘GMS-21’ under the aegis of Naval War College, Goa.
  • The event for the first time was hosted in virtual mode, with online participation of Naval representatives from 13 Indian Ocean Littoral countries.
  • It included India, Bangladesh, Comoros, Indonesia, Madagascar, Malaysia, Maldives, Mauritius, Myanmar, Seychelles, Singapore, Sri Lanka and Thailand.
  • The theme for GMS-21 was focused on “Maritime Security and Emerging Non-Traditional Threats: A Case for Proactive Role for IOR Navies.”

Significance: With the Indian Ocean becoming the locus of 21st century strategic landscape, the symposium will play a constructive role in bringing together the stakeholders who have a role in evolving strategies, policies and implementation mechanisms on the issues of common interest in maritime domain.

Red-eared slider:

  • The red-eared slider (Trachemys scripta elegans) derives its name from red stripes around the part where its ears would be and from its ability to slide quickly off any surface into the water.
  • Native to the U.S. and northern Mexico, this turtle is an extremely popular pet due to its small size, easy maintenance, and relatively low cost.
  • But on the flip side, they grow fast and virtually leaves nothing for the native species to eat.

Context:

Herpetologists have warned that the invasive red-eared slider, released in natural water bodies by people who keep them as ‘cute’ pets, could turn nasty for 29 native species of turtles and tortoises.

 

Articles to be covered tomorrow:

  1. 186 elephants killed on railway tracks in over 10 years: MoEFCC.

 


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